The Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety has shared the early findings of its new "Report on the Impact of Ships' Biofouling on Greenhouse Gas Emissions" at COP 26. The findings were revealed at the 'Managing Biofouling – A Win-Win Solution to Help Curb Climate Change and Preserve Ocean Biodiversity' hybrid official side event (04 November 2021) led by BIMCO, and in collaboration with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP).
Lilia Khodjet El Khil, IMO Project Technical Manager for GloFouling Partnerships declared, "Stakeholders can take a number of complementary actions to reduce GHG emissions from shipping. Using alternative fuels or technology to curb emissions can help meet the 2050 targets for the industry, but reducing fuel consumption is a vital part of the equation. Biofouling management creates a smooth ship's hull, and this will reduce friction and thereby reduce fuel consumption and associated GHG emissions. Biofouling management is an important part of the roadmap to a decarbonized future."
There are multiple studies demonstrating the impact of biofouling on ship performance, but preliminary results demonstrate how the perceived impact of biofouling is likely to have been historically underestimated by industry leaders and policy makers. The GIA Report on Biofouling compiles the results of published literature and presents them in a consolidated manner - highlighting some truly revealing numbers. The Report also features newly developed research focused on analyzing the effect of currently available industry practices for biofouling management, such as the importance of selecting the most appropriate fouling control coating, hull cleaning, propeller polishing and the use of ultrasonic antifouling systems.
The report aims to highlight the importance of biofouling mitigation measures in the short to medium term: biofouling management may be used as a means of compliance with IMO carbon intensity requirements, while the development and deployment of other GHG reduction strategies based on new low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels or technologies come to fruition.
In addition to getting a preview of the report, attendees also heard about the perspectives from key stakeholders who may benefit from a push to facilitate the deployment of innovative technological solutions to tackle biofouling, including representatives from the Small Island Developing State of Tonga, BIMCO, ICS and UNDP.
The Preliminary results of the report can be accessed here.
You may view the video of the side event here.