Policies for Sustainable Shipping in the Baltic Sea – SHEBA Policy Brief
Shipping is vital for trade in the global economy and in particular for countries whose economies are closely tied to trading, like those surrounding the Baltic Sea. However, compared to other sectors, shipping is also a significant driver of environmental pressures, such as the spread of alien species or other physical influences. Underwater noise and emissions of nitrogen oxide and fine dust are additional significant pressures from shipping compared to other land and sea-based activities. Shipping is also a source of greenhouse gases (GHG). Ecologic Institute's policy brief presents an assessment of 20 policies with the potential to tackle the pressures from shipping. The policy brief is available for download.
- There are "low hanging fruits", which would have considerable impacts at low costs – for example "promoting the low emission of fossil fuels", for which infrastructure is often available.
- Other policies are effective, but require considerable efforts of policy making – for example, "promoting shore power".
- Some policies do not only require changes of policy schemes or new institutions but a paradigm shift – for example by introducing a carbon tax or emission trading scheme
- Some assessed policy options have an integrative potential covering several policy targets, environmental pressures, and components of human wellbeing, e.g. "the promotion of renewables", "decreasing shipping speed" or "promoting battery driven ships".
- Options might not be too powerful as stand-alone instruments but could play a role in combination with other policy options – for example promotion programme and financial support combined with standards or taxes.
- Options can have systemic effects – for example with ships going on a lower speed more ships would be necessary to transport the same amount of goods, which would compensate for the benefits partially or totally.
- Policies can have positive and negative impacts and at the same time (conflicting policy goals) – for example when an antifouling paint is limited and non-indigenous species are spread.
- Depending on the situation, not only high prioritized policy options should be considered, but also instruments in mid-range of the ranking can be suitable, especially if implemented in combination with other instruments to compensate weaknesses.