Photo: Illustration. Image Courtesy: Port of Los Angeles

Amazon, Ikea join industry-wide call for zero-emission shipping by 2040

Nine major cargo owners have pledged to switch all of their ocean freight to vessels powered by zero-carbon fuels by 2040 as part of a new initiative Cargo Owners for Zero-Emission Vessels (coZEV).

Amazon, Brooks Running, Frog Bikes, Ikea, Inditex, Michelin, Patagonia, Tchibo, and Unilever are the first signatories of a new global project facilitated by the Aspen Institute and supported by Clean Air Task Force. The initiative aims to accelerate the decarbonization of the marine shipping sector, and to encourage companies to engage in collaborative innovation.

“By creating space for companies to work together on these ideas, we can help them shape the zero-carbon shipping transition to achieve both their climate and business goals,” officials from the Aspen Institute commented.

Together, these companies are committing to aligning their ocean shipping with the 1.5°C goal, and are sending a critical demand signal for the adoption of zero-carbon fuels.

Under the new coalition, the partners will work on projects that include:

  • Cargo owner-support for the first zero-carbon maritime shipping corridors
  • New mechanisms for bringing together collective freight demand and achieve economies of scale for zero-carbon shipping
  • Harnessing cargo owner voice to support public policies that will accelerate and lower the cost of the decarbonization transition
  • Promoting new and improved tools for tracking shipping emissions data and fostering transparency
  • With a commitment to practical, action-oriented collaboration, even the hardest to abate sectors like maritime shipping can be decarbonized in line with our shared Paris Agreement goals. 

‘Maritime shipping, like all sectors of the global economy, needs to decarbonise rapidly if we are to solve the climate crisis, and multinational companies will be key actors in catalyzing a clean energy transition in shipping,” Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, commented

“We need to speed up the transformation towards zero emission ocean shipping,” said Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld Sustainability Manager Supply Chain Operations at IKEA. “By collaborating with like-minded partners, companies, and organizations across the value chain we can create strong movements.”

Last month, more than 150 industry leaders and organisations joined forces under the Call to Action initiative to urge governments and global shipping industry leaders to commit to decarbonizing international shipping by 2050.

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The initiative was developed by the Getting to Zero Coalition, a partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, the World Economic Forum, and Friends of Ocean Action. Signatories include members from the entire maritime ecosystem including shipping, chartering, finance, ports, and fuel production. 

Together, the industry leaders are committing to aligning their ocean shipping with the 1.5°C goal, and are sending a critical demand signal for the adoption of zero-carbon fuels.

“2040 may seem far away, but experts in this hard-to-abate sector know that vast new zero-carbon fuel supply chains must be built and numerous actors must come together … They also know of the need for policy support, regulatory reforms, new fuel standards, updated procedures and protocols necessary to bring zero-carbon solutions to scale,” the institute authorities concluded.