Governments urged to act on shipping decarbonisation

Photo: Slovenia's SURS

September 23 (Renewables Now) - More than 150 maritime organisations have called on governments to act to fully decarbonise shipping by 2050, the Global Maritime Forum announced on Wednesday.

Signatories of the Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonisation represent the full spectrum of the industry value chain, including shipping, cargo, energy, finance, ports and infrastructure. Among them are big global trade players such as Anglo American, AP Moller – Maersk, BHP, BP, Citi, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Engie, Hapag-Lloyd, Mitsui OSK Lines, Port of Rotterdam, Rio Tinto, Shell, Trafigura and many more.

Ships carry around 80% of world trade and are responsible for about 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An initial GHG strategy, adopted by the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2018 and due to be revised in 2023, envisages a reduction in international shipping’s annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels.

According to the call signatories, full decarbonisation of the sector is “urgent and achievable.”

“Now is the time to raise our ambitions and align shipping worldwide—a significant carrier of global trade—with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Citi chief executive Jane Fraser.

“Our customers are looking to us to decarbonize their supply chain emissions. We are investing significantly in the carbon neutral emissions technologies that are readily available,” said Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, chief executive of Fleet & Strategic Brands at AP Moller – Maersk. “To make such investments the default choice across our industry, we need a market-based measure to close the competitiveness gap between fossil and zero emission fuels of today and the carbon neutral fuels of tomorrow,” Henriette Hallberg Thygesen added.

The signatory companies make three pleas to global leaders. They ask them to commit to decarbonising international shipping by 2050; to support industrial-scale zero emission shipping projects through national action; and to deliver policy measures that will make zero emission shipping the default choice by 2030. The latter includes market-based measures supporting the commercial deployment of zero-emission vessels and fuels in international shipping.

The call comes ahead of climate talks at COP26 in Glasgow in November.

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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