The study was published by Transport and Environment (T&E), a Brussels-based body which represents around 50 organisations across Europe and campaigns for greener transport.
T&E says that the savings would come from lower operational costs of using automated systems such as fuel flow meters or continuous emissions monitoring, which are already used by many of the world’s largest shipping companies, as the electronic collection and reporting of data doesn’t require man-hours.
“The best way to monitor shipping emissions is also the cheapest in the long run,” said Aoife O’Leary, clean shipping officer at T&E.
“When GPS systems became available to massively improve the accuracy of ship navigation, no ship owner turned a blind eye to the technology just because of an upfront capital cost. So, why should the Commission favour the use of inaccurate old-fashioned paper receipts when they could promote an accurate, real-time fuel monitoring system, enabling real emissions reductions?"
The report, for T&E by consultancy CE Delft, concludes that monitoring systems can enable fuel savings and lower emissions by more than the 2 per cent CO2 cut claimed by the Commission in its proposal.
The Commission estimates that CO2 emissions from ships sailing in European waters amounted to 180 million tonnes in 2010.
In June, the Commission proposed that all ships calling at EU ports be required to measure and report their annual fuel burn and emissions when travelling to/from the EU. As it stands, the proposal goes no further than requiring ship owners and operators to report fuel consumption based on fuel sales receipts, which ships already carry.
Advanced, electronic consumption measuring methods, which provide ship owners with the necessary information to capture real emissions reductions, are mentioned, but not mandated by the proposal.
T&E notes that these advanced measuring technologies can also monitor sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). It says that investing in these systems could lower the cost of complying with international shipping air pollution standards, such as the 2015 sulphur limits.