Shipping Leaders Join Forces to Drive Decarbonization Agenda


A group of international shipping industry leaders has decided to work together to drive the decarbonization agenda with a business-focused approach that pushes ahead of regulatory mechanisms.

The 150+ group of shipping’s leaders, strategists and entrepreneurs gathered in Bonn, Germany, as part of the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to forge a draft Action Plan.

The plan maps out how shipping can contribute its ‘fair share’ of GHG reductions and decarbonize quickly and deeply enough to meet the high ambition climate change target of limiting global temperatures to 1.5oC, as indicated in the Paris Agreement.

The summit concluded in consensus that the international shipping industry “does have the technology toolbox required for decarbonization.”

“However, some solutions required are still in late-stage development, not yet mature, or require significant upscaling for deployment and market readiness. Also, participants concluded that investments in alternative fuels are key for shipping to decarbonize in the longer term,” Shipping Ambition 1.5oC informed.

Transportation conglomerate A.P. Moller – Maersk earlier said that the shipping industry must take responsibility for its fair share of carbon emissions in order to tackle climate change.

“Raising the ambition for global regulation remains crucial to ensure shipping’s contribution to reach the Paris Agreement’s goal of staying below 2°C temperature rise,” John Kornerup Bang, Chief Advisor on Climate Change at Maersk said.

The maritime industry emitted close to 1,000 million tonnes of CO2 in 2012, representing about 2.2% of global CO2 emissions. Depending on future development, this could rise to 15% by 2050, a 2016 study by the Danish Shipowner’s Association (DSA) and UCL Energy Institute showed.

Based on the projections from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the industry can improve efficiency by up to 75% through operational measures and current technology.

However, to make this happen, a higher level of ambition is needed than the one outlined in the current roadmap for 2017–2023, based on both technical, operational and economic measures – without punishing early movers and with clear incentives to develop new solutions.

Image Courtesy: Ambition 1.5C: Global Shipping’s Action Plan/Youtube

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