Panama Canal’s Decarbonization Measures Will Make it Carbon-Neutral by 2030

Panama Canal’s Decarbonization Measures Will Make it Carbon-Neutral by 2030

As part of its effort to be carbon-neutral by 2030 and in the wake of COP26, it was recently announced that a Green Vessel Classification Plan and a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Fee would be implemented at the Panama Canal.

The energy efficiency classification and accompanying fees apply to all vessels exceeding 125 feet (38.1 meters) length overall (LOA). The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from between 20 to 100 percent while vessels pass through the canal.

Three factors will be considered:

  1. Energy Efficient Design Index (EEDI)
  2. Efficient operational measures such as the use of Bow Thrusters
  3. Use of Zero Carbon Biofuels or Carbon Neutral Fuels

The fees will support investments that guarantee environmental performance standards and aid in making Canal operations carbon neutral.

The Panama Canal is prioritizing the maintenance and modernization of its infrastructure in order to achieve its objectives.

These include plans to consolidate Canal facilities to reduce its carbon footprint by 33 percent.

As ships transition to cleaner fuels, the Canal is introducing hybrid tugboats, beginning with 10 and plans for more in order to reduce  tugboat operational carbon emissions by 20 percent.

In addition to hybrid tugboats, the Canal will introduce a fleet of electric vehicles.

For the remainder of the decade, the Canal plans to invest several billion dollars in equipment, infrastructure, technology, and the water solution project, among others. This plan will also include a step towards digitizing Canal operations to provide more value for customers. With more data, the Canal can better anticipate customer needs and tailor its operations to sustainable solutions.

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