Maritime sector teams up with hydrogen leaders to scale up green hydrogen production

Shipping organizations and initiatives across the shipping value chain, joined by the largest producers of green hydrogen, today signed on to a joint statement at COP27, committing to the rapid and ambitious production and use of low-carbon fuels based on green hydrogen to accelerate shipping’s decarbonization.

The Joint Statement on Green Hydrogen and Green Shipping, facilitated by the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions and nonprofit RMI, was signed by representatives of the Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative, the Getting to Zero  Coalition, the Green Hydrogen Catapult, the Green Hydrogen Organization (GH2), ACWA Power, A.P. Moller – Maersk, CWP Global, Fortescue Future Industries,  InterContinental Energy, and MAN Energy Solutions.

In the agreement, the signatories have agreed to pursue cross-sector collaboration to  achieve:

– Commercially viable zero-emissions vessels operating on the deep seas by 2030

– Scaling up production of green hydrogen to 5.5 million tons per year by 2030 for use in shipping

– Full decarbonization of the shipping sector by 2050 at the latest

Achieving full decarbonization of the shipping sector will require large-scale and rapid growth in the use of zero-emission fuels, notably green hydrogen-derived fuels.

Specifically, estimates show that to position the global shipping sector on the least cost 1.5-aligned pathway would require the use of green hydrogen-derived fuels starting in the middle of this decade, requiring a relatively modest green hydrogen volume of 5 million tonnes by 2030, growing rapidly to up to 90 million tonnes by 2040, data from the Getting to Zero Coalition shows.

Longer term, the sector is expected to become one of the largest demand sources for green hydrogen, projected to account for approximately 15 percent of total green hydrogen demand by 2050.

According to the statement, the signatories vowed to use at least 5 percent scalable zero emission fuels across the maritime sector in 2030, providing a demand signal to help catalyze investments in at-scale green hydrogen production.

Other supply chain stakeholders, including financers, ship onwers and operators were invited to make similar commitments to invest in zero-emission vessels and the production of zero emissions fuels to meet the goal of 5 percent zero-emission fuels use by 2030 and rapid scaling thereafter.

Furthermore, implementers and users of green corridors were called to ramp up zero-emission shipping over coming years while ports were urged to invest in green hydrogen infrastructure projects to support re-fueling of ships, and to become part of green corridor projects which help further incentivize the production of green hydrogen for shipping fuels

“Our path ahead is clear: shipping must transition away from fossil fuels and toward scalable zero-emissions fuels. Members of the Getting to Zero Coalition and other signatories to this joint statement stand firmly behind this goal and have already taken crucial first steps to make this happen. Commitments today show that there will be sufficient supply of green fuels and demand for zero-emissions shipping,” said  Johannah Christensen, CEO of the Global Maritime Forum, founding partner of the  Getting to Zero Coalition.

“We are energized by the momentum we see in the maritime and hydrogen sectors toward full industry decarbonization on a Paris-aligned timeline,” said Ingrid Irigoyen,  director of the Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative, which facilitates the Cargo  Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV). “Climate-leading cargo owners want zero emissions shipping to not only become available and competitive, but to become the  new normal.”

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“We are living in a climate emergency, and we need to rapidly accelerate the global availability of green fuels,” said Henriette H. Thygesen, CEO of Fleet and Strategic  Brands at A.P. Moller – Maersk. “Access to green hydrogen is an important pathway to secure this important scale-up for the shipping industry as a whole and for us at A.P.  Moller – Maersk to reach our 2040 net-zero target. Operating a large fleet of container vessels, we have made the choice to take an active part in shaping the solutions for the future together with partners. No one can do it alone.”

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 Oleksiy Tatarenko, senior principal at RMI and secretariat of the Green Hydrogen Catapult, a coalition of green hydrogen, said this was a target that can be reached.

“In fact, achieving existing targets set by Green  Hydrogen Catapult members alone would be enough to supply nearly 90 percent of the  green hydrogen needed by the shipping sector by 2030,” he added.

“To make it happen we need,  among other things, to triple down on planning for green shipping corridors as fuels are  supplied in specific places.”

“More than anything, the world needs a massive amount of industrially scaled green hydrogen production to build momentum for the broad adoption of hydrogen as a  maritime fuel,” said Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions.

“Decarbonization of the marine industry is a mammoth undertaking but, I believe, eminently achievable through cooperation with like-minded industry partners. At MAN Energy Solutions, we  believe that hydrogen has a key role to play in getting to net zero, and our recent,  significant investment in our hydrogen subsidiary, H-TEC SYSTEMS, intends to quickly  transform it into a mass-producer of PEM electrolyzers.”

The signatories also called on international authorities and national governments to support private-sector commitments with correspondingly ambitious policy. The joint statement specifically asks the International Maritime Organization and member states to commit to a 100 percent emissions reduction for the maritime sector by 2050 with robust interim targets.

“The time for hesitation has long passed – every actor in this space has the opportunity to take bold action now, both individually and together, and this urgently includes  policymakers at the IMO and domestically helping us de-risk this transition and create  the conditions for success,” said Irigoyen.

We and our fellow high-ambition partners are ready to do  our part, but we know that global policy change is needed to create opportunities for  zero-emissions fuels and technologies to thrive and quickly achieve scale.”

Christensen added that to take this further, the industry needs fast and bold action by policymakers to develop an ambitious and supportive policy framework that accelerates this transition, without which the maritime industry cannot fully decarbonize by 2050.