Breaking the barriers : operational measures for the decarbonization of shipping : a study on barriers to operational energy efficiency measures
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- Master Thesis 
Energy efficiency is a key strategy to address the issue of climate change. Operational measures that increase energy efficiency are widely used in shipping, but there is evidence of a gap between the actual implementation level and what would be optimal. This is dubbed the energy efficiency gap. This paper aims to examine which barriers are responsible for the energy efficiency gap in deep-sea shipping and how policy intervention can mitigate it. Contributing to the literature on operational energy efficiency measures in shipping, we look to former studies and synthesize former research results to give a comprehensive overview of the subject. Further, we contribute to the literature by analyzing four existing and potential policy regulations and investigating their likely effect on the industry and the energy efficiency gap. This will give a firm foundation for advancing knowledge, facilitating theory development, providing a unifying status check on operational measures, and how policy instruments can affect the uptake of these measures. Our analysis also identifies areas where the current and proposed industry regulations seem insufficient to drive change and where other or stricter policy instruments may be required. Our findings suggest that split incentives and imperfect information are the main barriers to closing the energy efficiency gap for operational measures in shipping. Policy instruments can help facilitate the uptake of these measures if designed correctly. However, our findings suggest that none of the four regulations addressed in this thesis are likely to solve the problem with a lack of reliable information. Further, MBMs can make monetary savings from reduced emissions more substantial than today and give incentives to reduce emissions. However, contractual clauses and the presence of other market barriers can limit the MBMs effect on vessels’ behavior. Consequently, to significantly reduce the emissions from shipping, we argue that the industry should be focusing on finding ways to improve the quality of information about vessels’ performance regarding energy efficiency and on exploring new contractual structures. Keywords – Sustainable shipping, energy efficiency, operational measures, IMO, GHG, operational efficiency.