On Monday, the MoPSW (Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways) announced that it would fund the promotion of green shipping to the sum of 30% and that a single-window gateway for river and ocean excursions would be created. At the completion of the ministry’s second Chintan Shivir, which was held in Munnar, Kerala, with a focus on green shipping and port digitisation, Sarbananda Sonowal, the minister of ports, shipping, and waterways, made 5 key announcements.

According to the official statements, the ‘Panch Karma Sankalp’ calls for the MoPSW to contribute 30% of its funding to the promotion of green shipping, the development of Deendayal and VO Chidambaranar Ports as Green Hydrogen Hubs, and the transformation of Jawaharlal Nehru Port and VO Chidambaranar Port, Tuticorin, into smart ports by the end of the current fiscal year.


Green shipping is a difficult undertaking for the shipping sector

The ministry began its Chintan Shivir on Sunday in Munnar, Kerala, to set goals and discuss concepts for making India a marine nation.

According to the press release, Sonowal also suggested that they will evaluate the progress in relation to these targets at a mid-year Chintan Shivir in a few months and mentioned that disciplinary action may be taken in the event that there is any delay in the project’s completion. The improvement of port administration, standardisation and sharing of cargo handling in significant ports, and promotion of cargo, VGF, PPP Inland Waterways, and coastal trade were the main topics of discussion on the second day of the Chintan Shivir.

The statement highlighted that a significant increase in cargo flow by coastal shipping has resulted from the implementation of several initiatives to encourage coastal shipping together with the construction of coastal port infrastructure under the Sagarmala Programme.

The amount of cargo handled by coastal shipping reached 74 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) in 2014–2015 to 151 MMTPA in 2022–23.

The amount of cargo handled by coastal shipping reached 74 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) in 2014–2015 to 151 MMTPA in 2022–23. Additionally, there has been steady growth in the volume of cargo handled by IWT, which increased from only 30 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) in 2014 to 126 MTPA in 2022–2033. The statement claims that a discussion on leadership, responsible leadership, and workplace culture marked the conclusion of the Chintan Shivir.

The contribution of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases (GHG) from the transportation sector is increasing, and shipping has become a crucial component of the global supply chain as the implications of climate change become more apparent. The EU Commission estimates that the shipping sector emits 2.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions, or 940 million tonnes, of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Currently, ships utilise heavy fuel oil, which is a byproduct of the distillation of crude oil. Crude oil contains sulphur, which is detrimental to human health and causes respiratory ailments and is released by ships while being transported. On the other hand, sulphur also has certain negative side effects, such as acidifying the ocean and causing acid rain which is bad for crops and marine life. Even though it is the safest and cleanest method of cargo transportation, green shipping is a difficult undertaking for the shipping sector.