Alternative fuels in maritime shipping

Analysis of climate governance in the European Union and the Baltic Sea states

Container ship at the port

As part of the CAMPFIRE research project, the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM) has published two publications dealing with the legal framework for the decarbonisation of shipping and the use of ammonia in the Baltic Sea:

– A study that examines the climate governance of the European Union and five countries bordering the Baltic Sea (Denmark, Germany, Finland, Poland and the non-EU country Norway) and identifies regulatory hurdles for the use of ammonia.

– A factsheet (in German and English) with recommendations for the adaptation and further development of the legal framework for the promotion of ammonia as a marine fuel.

“The legal framework is still geared towards the use of fossil fuels. Clean alternatives are not competitive under the current framework conditions, especially with carbon prices remaining low. As part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, the European Union has provided impetus for decarbonisation, including in the shipping industry. The inclusion of EU shipping in the European emissions trading system is a first step in the right direction. Additionally, the ‘FuelEU Maritime’ regulation has the potential to create incentives for ammonia as an alternative fuel. For investment and legal certainty, it would be useful if ammonia were legally recognised as an energy product, and tax concessions were provided for its use as fuel for ships. Moreover, concrete targets for the expansion of the corresponding infrastructure in ports are necessary to ensure a successful ammonia ramp-up,” explains Mariana Moreno Kuhnke, author of the study and Head of the Energy Law Department at IKEM.

The publications were produced in the CF09 Green Baltic Cruising sub-project of the CAMPFIRE research project – funded by the program “WIR! – Wandel durch Innovation in der Region” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The CAMPFIRE partner alliance is developing technologies for the production and use of green ammonia as a maritime fuel and energy storage medium.

Further IKEM publications on ammonia can be found on the CAMPFIRE project page.


IKEM – Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility e.V.