10 cargo owners join platform for zero-emission vessels

Ten companies have joined the Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV) initiative launched by cargo owners that aim to switch all of their ocean freight to vessels powered by zero-carbon fuels by 2040.

Port of Hamburg/Illustratio; Image by Offshore Energy

The latest signatories of the platform include Beiersdorf, Dupont, Electrolux, ETTLI Kaffee, Moose Toys, Ohana Beverage Company, Philips, REI Co-op, Sisley, and Target and they join Amazon, Brooks Running, Frog Bikes, IKEA, Inditex, Michelin, Patagonia, Tchibo, and Unilever, bringing the total to 19 companies that want to help decarbonize the maritime value chain.

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The platform was launched in October 2021 when a number of multinational companies signed onto the coZEV 2040 Ambition Statement, and it is facilitated by the Aspen Institute. Since then coZEV has begun to demonstrate the business case for investment in scalable zero-emission fuels and technologies capable of achieving full maritime industry decarbonization on a Paris-aligned trajectory.

“In less than a year, coZEV has changed the narrative surrounding decarbonization in maritime shipping,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “Through coZEV, cargo owners are kickstarting a clean energy transition in this critical industry, and the Aspen Institute is proud to support them and help enable their success.”

The platform believes that the maritime shipping sector is at risk of falling behind and increasing its share of global emissions from 3% today to 10% by 2050.

As such, the platform signatories insist that high ambition from corporate customers of the maritime industry is critical to ensure the transition to zero-emission fuels begins in earnest by the mid-2020s, achieves scalability by 2030, vastly outcompetes fossil-fuel powered shipping by 2040, and fully decarbonizes the maritime transport sector by 2050 at the latest. 

“Support for maritime decarbonization has grown swiftly in just a short time due to the bold, climate-leading companies that are making their climate ambitions as freight customers clear to maritime carriers, fuel producers, ports and other value chain actors,” said Ingrid Irigoyen, Director of coZEV and the Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative, which is an initiative of the Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Program.

“The global economy’s maritime decarbonization journey is still in its early stages, but such progress in less than a year confirms for us that cargo owners can drive impact quickly when they come together.”

Irigoyen added that accelerated investment was needed for a vast fleet of zero-emission vessels to hit the water by 2040.

“This growing roster of coZEV 2040 signatories that represent a wide range of industries, boosts our sense of optimism that we can eliminate the climate impact of even the hardest to abate sectors. But first mover action in this space isn’t enough. We’re hopeful that global and regional policy action, such as the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act in the United States, the ongoing discussions in the European Union on their Fit For 55 policy, and the upcoming International Maritime Organization meetings, provide concrete policy wins that match cargo owners’ ambition to achieve the clean energy future we all deserve.”