In the last week, we have seen IMO delete the concept of a delay to 2020 global sulphur cap and the start of a new era of Arctic crude oil being delivered by LNG-powered Aframax tankers.
Of course, no one was officially trying to delay the implementation of 2020 global sulphur cap. The authors of a report were careful to avoid spelling out such a premise. The Trump Administration endorsed the suggestion, too. However, IMO stood firm and in MEPC 73 actually went further in putting a lid on the carriage of high sulphur fuel.
To my mind, this means the pendulum has swing in favour of a hard implementation. In Europe, especially Scandinavia, this will mean rigorous inspections at the port state level with fines and detentions to follow.
Before the intervention of the Trump Administration, I was expecting a hard implementation there, too. The US Coast Guard is not shy in punishing offenders and has its critics on the methodologies employed.
The EEDI situation is less clear with some vessel types in limbo while more data is sought. Meanwhile, I am writing stories that would have seemed fantasy two decades before: LNG-powered tankers built in Russia, crude oil exports from the Arctic?
Which makes me wonder if the 2020 global sulphur cap will be seen as a success after its implementation? A lot will depend on the results of the data collection of fuel consumption which starts in 2019. Will this reveal we are on track to meet IMO commitments on greenhouse gas or will the process need to be speeded up?
BTW: On the two occasions I attempted to commute in a greener fashion by train, I had one cancellation and a three-hour delay getting home. I have reverted to driving. Please send me your thoughts on this comment and hybrid cars please to firstname.lastname@example.org.