New York: New Coalition Formed to Support Shipping’s Decarbonization

The Getting to Zero Coalition, a new alliance that will lead the push for international shipping’s decarbonization, has been launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.

Illustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

The ambition of the Getting to Zero Coalition is said to be closely aligned with the UN International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Initial GHG Strategy.

The strategy prescribes that international shipping must reduce its total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050, whilst pursuing efforts towards phasing them out as soon as possible in this century. This will ultimately align GHG emissions from international shipping with the Paris Agreement.

Specifically, the coalition is committed to making this ambitious target a reality by getting commercially viable deep-sea zero-emission vessels powered by zero-emission fuels into operation by 2030.

The new coalition has been founded by the Global Maritime Forum, in collaboration with the Friends of Ocean Action, and the World Economic Forum.

It represents more than 70 public and private organizations within the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors, supported by decision-makers from governments and IGO’s. Some of the members include Maersk, Shell, Ocean Network Express (ONE), Norden and Wärtsilä, among others.

“Energy efficiency has been an important tool which has helped us reduce CO2 emissions per container with 41% over the last decade… However, efficiency measures can only keep shipping emissions stable, not eliminate them,” Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Møller Mærsk, commented.

“To take the next big step change towards decarbonization of shipping, a shift in propulsion technologies or a shift to clean fuels is required which implies close collaboration from all parties. The coalition launched today is a crucial vehicle to make this collaboration happen,” he added.

“Decarbonizing maritime shipping is a huge task with no simple answer, but it has to be done,” Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, said.

“We intend to be part of the long-term, zero-carbon, solution by seeking out the most feasible technologies that can work at a global scale. Starting now is essential because ships built today will stay on the water for decades,” van Beurden continued.

“We wish to increase the awareness of the need to develop real alternatives that can make the development of vessels with zero emissions possible. We in Norden have already set sail with various initiatives such as biofuel to help the agenda on its way, and we see the establishment of this new coalition as another step,” Jan Rindbo, CEO of Norden, pointed out.

As explained, the Getting to Zero Coalition may prove to be a catalyst for the broader energy transition if international shipping becomes a reliable source of demand for zero-emission fuels. This can increase confidence among suppliers and translate into an increased supply of feasible zero-emission fuels and thus be an important point of leverage for change across other hard-to-abate sectors.

The demand for zero-emission fuels derived from renewable resources has the potential to drive substantial investment in clean energy projects in developing countries with a large untapped renewable energy potential, the Global Maritime Forum concluded in a statement.

Read more:

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In Depth: Shipping’s Decarbonization Will Need Major R&D Investment

ABS Outlook: Alternative Fuels Will Be Key to Reaching IMO Low Carbon Targets

Major Banks Promote Greener Shipping through New Principles

MSI: Rapid Decarbonisation to Lead to Radical Transition