The Panama Canal has launched a carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions dashboard that will reveal greenhouse gas emission reductions by vessels who choose the waterway over other routes, canal officials said.
Updated monthly, the tool will use data from the waterway’s emissions calculator, which allows shippers to measure their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions per route, including the amount saved by taking the Panama Canal over other routes. Now using georeferenced data and technology already aboard vessels, the emissions calculator takes various factors into consideration–such as vessel type, speed, route, size, capacity, type of fuel, and fuel consumption–to provide the most accurate measurements, officials said.
The move is one more step in the canal’s efforts to promote a greener maritime industry.
“The Panama Canal has long looked for ways to provide greater value to customers beyond serving as a shortcut, with environmental benefits at the forefront of that effort,” Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez Morales said in a statement. “Our goal is to help customers create more sustainable supply chains. By publishing this data each month, we aim to be more transparent about how the Panama route helps shippers reduce emissions with each transit and track our own growth as a green route for global maritime trade.”
The Panama Canal contributed to a reduction of more than 13 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions in 2020, in comparison to the most likely alternative routes vessels would take, officials said. The savings are equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 2.8 million passenger vehicles driven for a year or the carbon sequestered by 217 million tree seedlings grown for 10 years, officials also said.
The initiative coincides with the anniversary of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2020 sulphur reduction implementation, which placed a limit on sulphur in ships fuel oil as a way to reduce sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions worldwide.