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A new method for assessing CO₂-emissions from container terminals: a promising approach applied in Rotterdam

Geerlings, Harry, van Duin, Ron
Journal of cleaner production 2011 v.19 no.6-7 pp. 657-666
biofuels, carbon dioxide, emissions, global warming, industry, issues and policy, methodology, mixing, transportation
At present, the notion is generally accepted that societies have to combat climate change. The reduction of CO₂-emissions, an important cause for global warming, has become a priority, and consequently there is increasing pressure on governments and industries to come forward with initiatives to reduce CO₂-emissions. This is highly relevant for the transport sector, as the share of transportation is still increasing, while other sectors are reducing their CO₂-footprint. The main purpose of this paper is to present a methodology to analyse the CO₂-emissions from container terminals, illustrated by the Port of Rotterdam. The objective of this paper is twofold. Firstly, the development of a methodology to analyse and gain a better understanding of the CO₂-emissions by container terminals in port areas is described. Secondly, the most effective solutions to reduce CO₂-emissions by container terminals in port areas are identified. The study provides insight into the processes of container transshipment at the terminals and the contribution of these processes to the CO₂-emissions of the container terminals. Using these insights, potential solutions to reduce the CO₂ at the terminals are identified and policy proposals are made for the operators of existing terminals and for governments. The most effective measure for CO₂ reduction is undoubtedly the adaptation of the terminal layout as in the example of the Rotterdam Shortsea Terminal. This makes it possible to reduce the CO₂-emissions of the current terminals by nearly 70 per cent. The other perspective is the incorporation of mixing 30 per cent biofuels with the presently used diesel. This results in a reduction of CO₂-emissions by between 13 and 26 per cent per terminal and a reduction of the emissions of the total container sector by 21 per cent. On the basis of these findings, concrete recommendations are made to reducing CO₂-emissions at container terminals.