The Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Guy Platter, said: “We need to be able to have zero emission vessles by 2030 without challenging prices and safety”.


To achieve this challenge, ICS is proposing, among other measures, the implementation of a global carbon tax, measures that have already been submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for discussion at the upcoming November meeting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26). Under the slogan “Uniting the world to tackle climate change”, COP26 will be held in Glasgow next November and will bring together representatives from nearly 200 countries with the aim of accelerating climate action to comply with the Paris Agreement.

Meanwhile, in Spain, Law 7/2021 of 20 May on Climate Change and energy transition came into force on 22 May.

According to its Preamble, the growing gap between the obligations assumed by the States Parties to the 2015 Paris Agreement and the reality in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions makes it necessary to enact effective instruments to support the fight against climate change.

The starting point, therefore, would be clear: that commitment made in the 2015 Paris Agreement in which world leaders committed to a historic agreement to tackle climate change. They agreed to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 ℃ above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 ℃.  However, the target is getting closer as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets a specific date: decarbonisation by 2050.

This Law 7/2021 outlines general guidelines with minimum national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 23% compared to 1990, reaching a level of at least 42% penetration of renewable energies or at least 74% of generation from renewable energies in the electricity system by 2030.

Among the plans that Spain must consolidate are the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) and the 2050 Decarbonisation Strategy.

How does Law 7/2021 affect maritime transport? The Law only devotes one article of its text to this area, article 16, entitled “Maritime transport and ports”.

Article 16 is nothing more than a declaration of intent for ports under State jurisdiction to adopt measures for the gradual reduction of emissions generated by the consumption of fossil fuels by vessels and platforms when moored or anchored in ports, in order to achieve the objective of zero direct emissions by 2050.

The intention of the legislator is also to create “sustainable logistics chains to and from ports”. In short, it is a question of fighting for energy efficiency and air quality in port installations, as well as stimulating the use of alternative energies in maritime transport.

Within this framework, the Law opts for the promotion of Motorways of the Sea and regular Roll on – Roll off lines.

The regulatory development of these general challenges should not be delayed in order to meet Spain’s international commitments in time.


The regulatory development of these general challenges should not be delayed in order to meet Spain's international commitments in time.