Norway: 700 low-emission and 400 zero-emission ships needed to achieve 2030 climate goal

To achieve 2030 national climate goals, 700 low-emission and 400 zero-emission ships will be required in Norway alone, according to Norwegian maritime organisations and shipping industry.

Norwegian maritime cluster organisations, shipping-industry associations, shipowners, business organisations, classification societies and finance actors have committed to far-sighted cooperation to achieve zero emissions for the maritime sector.

Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Norway

The Norwegian collaboration was formally announced today (7 November) at a high-level launch event during COP27 in Egypt.

Collaboration participants comprise GCE Blue Maritime (maritime cluster centre of excellence), NCE Maritime CleanTech (Cluster for Clean Maritime Solutions, Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon (The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, NHO), Norsk Industri (The Federation of Norwegian Industries), Norges Rederiforbund (Norwegian Shipowners Association), Kystrederiene (Norwegian Coastal Shipowners), Maritimt Forum (Maritime Forum industry association), Havila Kystruten (Havila Voyages), Hurtigruten, Kongsberg (marine technology) and DNV (classification society).

The partners have pledged to achieve the emission reductio targets in response to the Green Shipping Challenge formulated jointly by the Governments of Norway and the United States,

The Green Shipping Challenge, whose primary aim is to catalyze the global transition to green shipping, was issued as part of a joint statement on climate by Norwegian Prime Minister Johas Gahr Støre and Special Presidential Envoy on Climate John Kerry in May 2022.

Participants in the Norwegian collaboration vowed to strive towards reducing emissions from shipping by 50% by 2030, in line with Norway’s national climate goals. 

This comes in addition to the current target of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce CO2 emissions from global shipping by at least 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050.

Norwegian financial partners with maritime patronage pledge to use capital instruments to support green measures and projects through the provision of risk capital and financial advisory services.

Moreover, the Norwegian government will support green initiatives and infrastructure development for fossil-free energy sources.

Alongside efforts to improve the energy efficiency of existing vessels, the partners will also undertake actions to develop, design and build the zero-emission vessels of the future.

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“Together we are ready to enter into a binding partnership with the authorities to reach our national climate targets, and this is a big step towards closer cooperation,” said Head of Cluster Daniel Garden of GCE Blue Maritime.

“To have the lowest impact on the world’s natural resources, the transition must consist of both a green conversion program for existing ships, as well as a comprehensive green newbuilding program. The partners will also contribute to nascent green shipping corridors in Europe through the development of port infrastructure along the Norwegian coast,” he added.

“To transform the entire industry, we must provide and share zero-emission solutions, products and knowledge both within the collaboration and out in the wider market.”

Harald Solberg, CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, commented: “The Norwegian maritime industry has set ambitious climate goals, and we are taking a leading role in developing green solutions for the future. Already, nine out of 10 Norwegian shipowners say that they will equip their ships with new technology that cuts emissions. The same number also believe they will be climate neutral by 2050.”

Solberg added that: “Owners are considering a wide range of solutions, such as green ammonia, hydrogen, wind-assisted propulsion, batteries and the use of artificial intelligence to reduce ships’ fuel consumption. However, to succeed with the green shift we need strong partnerships between the industry, governments and academia.”

Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV Maritime, concluded: “Climate change caused by human activities is the greatest challenge of our time. The Norwegian maritime industry is taking this extremely seriously. We are very optimistic about this partnership as Norway is very well positioned to be in the vanguard of change and to create significant value in new solutions to combat the climate crisis.”