Green Finance for a Sustainable Maritime Transport System: Developing a Universal Vernacular for Green Shipping

Pia Terese Rebelo


One of the greatest obstacles to green shipping are the enormous capital costs required for cleaner and more fuel-efficient technologies. This is applicable to the financing of both new vessels and the retrofitting of existing vessels, which require shipowners to approach external sources for capital. Financial institutions thus have an incentivising role to play, by extending ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ finance to shipping firms for a number of vessel-related projects which will bring a vessel in line with international standards or even supersede regulatory requirements. However, green finance for shipping does not presently enjoy an existing taxonomy or framework for what constitutes ‘green’ maritime activities. This Paper looks at the challenges presented by this taxonomy gap, specifically in relation to existing green finance schemes delivered by the European Investment Bank and Chinese banks. This paper argues for a clear and globally recognised green-shipping vernacular or classification system to incentivise investors and address shipowner hardship in respect of increasing regulatory demands.


Green Shipping, Green Finance, taxonomy, sustainability

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