Course set for zero carbon emissions

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Members of the Getting to Zero Coalition – a powerful alliance representing senior leaders within the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors, and supported by decision-makers from government and IGOs – announced at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York that they will lead the push for international shipping’s decarbonization with the mutual goal of having commercially viable zero emission vessels operating along deep sea trade routes by 2030.

International shipping carries around 80% of global trade and accounts for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. Emissions are projected to grow by between 50 and 250% by 2050 if no action is taken. The ambition of the Getting to Zero Coalition is closely aligned with the UN International Maritime Organization’s Initial GHG Strategy. The strategy prescribes that international shipping must reduce its total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050, while pursuing efforts toward phasing them out as soon as possible in this century. This will ultimately align greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping with the Paris Agreement.

“Energy efficiency measures can only keep shipping emissions stable, not eliminate them,” says Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Møller Mærsk. “To take the next big step change toward decarbonization of shipping, a shift in propulsion technologies or a move to clean fuels is required, which implies close collaboration from all parties. The Coalition launched today is a crucial vehicle to make this collaboration happen.”

The Coalition is committed to making this ambitious target a reality by getting commercially viable deep sea zero emission vessels powered by zero emission fuels into operation by 2030.
“Decarbonizing maritime shipping is a huge task with no simple answer, but it has to be done,” says Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell. “We intend to be part of the long-term, zero-carbon solution by seeking out the most feasible technologies that can work at a global scale. Starting now is essential because ships built today will stay on the water for decades.”

The Getting to Zero Coalition is a partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, the Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum. The Coalition is supported by more than 70 public and private organizations.

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With almost two-decades experience in consumer magazines, Wesley recently moved to B2B publishing and now edits a number of titles for UKi Media & Events, including Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International.

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