Green corridors to simplify zero-emission shipping challenges, study suggests

A new study, produced for the Getting to Zero Coalition, an initiative for accelerating international shipping decarbonisation, has shown that developing green corridors can help simplify the challenges of zero-emission shipping.

Courtesy of Global Maritime Forum

The new study “The Next Wave: Green Corridors”, looks at how green corridors, the specific trade routes between major port hubs where zero-emission solutions are demonstrated and supported, can be conceived, prioritised, and designed to accelerate the speed of shipping’s transition.

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The study reported that green corridors can leverage favourable conditions for accelerated industry action and allow policymakers to create an enabling ecosystem with targeted regulatory measures, financial incentives, and safety regulations.

In these contexts, the mutually reinforcing actions needed from industry and policymakers to decarbonize shipping become more straightforward, creating end-to-end solutions that can be replicated globally.

As informed, “The Next Wave” draws its conclusions based on studies of three different corridors, each representing a different kind of opportunity for the transition: the Australia-Japan iron ore corridor, the Asia-Europe container route, and the Korea-Japan-US pure car carrier (PCC) corridor. The case studies were undertaken in consultation with more than 30 companies across the value chain, including many who are active on the abovementioned routes.

The study described that on all green corridors, the success factors are likely to be similar: corridor-level consensus on fuel pathways, policy support to help close the cost-gap for higher-cost zero-emission fuels, and value-chain initiatives to pool demand.

Aligning on a corridor-specific decarbonisation roadmap based on these factors could provide all stakeholders with the confidence that is needed to invest, co-ordinate, and deliver the solutions at scale required by 2030.

“Green Corridors can help simplify the challenges of zero-emission shipping, bringing solutions to the water faster and at a meaningful scale. The maritime ecosystem is embarking on a journey to a transformed, zero-emission shipping sector. The task ahead is complex, but not impossible”, said Johannah Christensen, CEO of the Global Maritime Forum.

Faustine Delasalle, co-executive director of Mission Possible Partnership added: “Green corridors will enable us to go from ambition to action. However, there will still be a cost gap between fossil-based shipping and zero-emission shipping of the order of 25% to 65%. Targeted government action to close that cost gap on corridors could pay big dividends for the transition overall”.

“The Next Wave” comes after “The First Wave: A Blueprint for Zero-Emission Shipping”, produced by the coalition in 2020 to outline the business case for commercial-scale zero-emission pilots.

The Getting to Zero Coalition was launched in 2019 at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. It is a partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, Friends of Ocean Action and World Economic Forum.

The ambition of the Getting to Zero Coalition is to have commercially viable zero-emission vessels (ZEVs) operating along deep-sea trade routes by 2030, supported by the necessary infrastructure for scalable net-zero-carbon energy sources including production, distribution, storage, and bunkering.

Recently, the coalition developed the Call to Action initiative under which more than 150 industry leaders and organisations urged governments and global shipping industry leaders to commit to decarbonising international shipping by 2050.