24 September 2021

Calls to decarbonise international shipping by 2050

Full decarbonisation of international shipping is 'urgent and achievable'. This is the message from more than 150 industry leaders and organisations representing the entire maritime value chain, including shipping, cargo, energy, finance, ports and infrastructure.

© CHUTTERSNAP/unsplash

In conjunction with the UN General Assembly and ahead of climate negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow, UK, this November, they call on governments to work with industry to deliver the policies and investments needed to reach critical tipping points in decarbonising global supply chains and the economy.

Ships transport around 80% of global trade and account for about 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2018, the UN's International Maritime Organization adopted an initial strategy to reduce the sector's total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050. The strategy is set to be revised in 2023.

The sector is already taking action, which includes investing in research and development and pilot projects, ordering and building vessels operated carbon neutrally, buying zero-emission shipping services, investing in net-zero emission fuels, investing in port and bunkering infrastructure, and assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of shipping related activities.

Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller - Maersk, says, 'We are investing significantly in the carbon neutral emissions technologies that are readily available. To make such investments the default choice across our industry, we need a market-based measure to close the competitiveness gap between fossil and zero emission fuels of today and the carbon neutral fuels of tomorrow.' 

Johannah Christensen, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Maritime Forum, adds, 'Decarbonising shipping should leave no country behind. To make the transition to zero-emission shipping and fuels equitable and inclusive, policy measures must make sure that decarbonising shipping also brings jobs and opportunities to people in developing countries and emerging economies.'