Bringing emissions reductions to the political agenda

Publish date: August 15, 2017

What do construction machinery and fishing vessels have in common? They can be electrified, hence reduce emissions of air pollutants (PM, NOx, SOx) and climate warming CO2, boost technological innovation, and bring green jobs to the market. These will be among the key topis that Bellona will highlight at Norway’s annual non-partisan political gathering in Arendal on August 14th to 19th.

A crucial meeting place for leaders in politics, business, media and the public

Arendalsuka (or Arendal week) took place for the first time in 2012 and has since become a huge success in hosting Norway’s annual get together and discussion forum on current political questions. This year leaders in politics, business, media and the public are expected to attend over 760 events.

Bellona Foundation will host events on electrification of fishing boats, emission-free construction sites, smart cities, as well as political environment debates between parties.

Moreover, the Bellona Foundation is bringing in the week’s most anticipated guest, Hilary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta.

Podesta, who also served as former US president Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, as well as political advisor in climate issues for Barack Obama, will feature together with Bellona at Norwegian live TV show from the Arendal week, and speak about environmental politics in the US today and the aftermath of Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.

Electrifying Norway’s fishing industry

With its extensive coastline and important role as global fish exporter, Norway’s fisheries are an important industry, providing substantial employment and income for the country. What is more, this key national industry holds great emission reduction potential. Bellona explores the potential of electrifying fishing vessels in its newly published report, produced together with Siemens, trade and electricity associations NELFO and ELFO.

There are currently over 5 000 fishing vessels in Norway. The study has taken into account the coastal fishing fleet consisting of approximately 3 000 fishing vessels between 9 and 15 meters in length, with relatively similar operating profile, a category of vessels especially suitable for electrification. The average age of the fleet is 29,4 years and together these emit about 420 000 tonnes of CO2 and approximately 2 900 tonnes of NOx per year.

In its report Bellona finds that emissions of CO2 from the coastal fishing fleet can be reduced by half, the equivalent to 207 000 tonnes per year, using battery hybrid propulsion technologies.

This will require relatively large investments for the renewal of vessels, but will lower operating costs and increase profitability for the sector. Moreover, electrification of fishing vessels and the aquaculture industry will provide jobs in shipyards along the entire Norwegian coast.

In just a few years’ time, the use of hydrogen and fuel cells will also be available, which will provide a 100% zero-emission solution for fisheries.

Continued fossil fuels subsidies are a barrier to the transition to zero and low-emission technologies within the coastal fishing fleet. The financial support going to fossil fuels should be halted and instead be redirected towards the deployment of new, clean technology.

Bellona’s report will also be presented at the AquaNor event, a simultaneous event to Arendalsuka for the Aquaculture industry.

The full report can be accessed here.

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