The European Parliament adopted new rules on cleaner maritime fuels, with 555 European MEP’s voting in favor and 48 against, while there were 25 abstentions. Once the European Council has approved the new law, the sustainable maritime fuels rules will apply as of 1 January 2025.

In order to significantly reduce air pollution in ports, containerships and passenger ships will be obliged to use on-shore power supply for all electricity needs while moored at the quayside in major European Union ports as of 2030.

The new rules also set a 2% renewable fuels usage target as of 2034 if the European Commission reports that in 2031 renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) amount to less than 1% of fuel mix.

During the negotiations with the European Council, European MEP’s ensured that ships will have to gradually reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by cutting the amount of GHG in the energy they use (below 2020 level) by 2% as of 2025 to 80% as of 2050.

This would apply to ships above a gross tonnage of 5000, which are in principle responsible for 90% of CO2 emissions, and to all energy used on board in or between EU ports. It would also apply to 50% of energy used on voyages where the departure or arrival port is outside of the EU or in EU outermost regions.

Parliament’s rapporteur on sustainable maritime fuels, Jorgen Warborn (European Popular Party), said that “the new rules set out by far the world’s most ambitious path to decarbonising maritime transport. It targets 90 percent of maritime CO2 emissions while shielding the smallest ship-owners and ports from costs and administrative burden. They make Europe the frontrunner in creating a demand for sustainable fuels and fostering innovation.”