The #decarbonization of the #shipping #industry will require big investments in green technology and alternative fuels. With 90% of global trade moved by sea, shipping is a major contributor to climate change. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) forecasts that ‘business as usual’ could see emissions increase by up to 50% by 2050 due to the growth in shipping trade.
▪ The race to decarbonize shipping is now underway. In 2018, the IMO called for a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (compared to the 2008 baseline) across the global fleet by 2030, and at least a 50% cut by 2050.
▪ Nine big multinational companies including Amazon, Ikea, Michelin, Inditex (Zara) and Unilever have pledged to only use zero-carbon ships by 2040.
▪ Achieving the IMO’s 50% cut in emissions, let alone the more ambitious targets required to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius will require huge investment in #alternative#fuel and more efficient shipping.
▪ WEF experts estimate the scale of investment needed to meet IMO 2050 target at $1-1.4 trillion. To fully decarbonize shipping would require a further $400mn of investment over the next 20 years.
▪ A growing number of vessels are already switching to liquefied natural gas (LNG), while a number of other alternative fuels are under development, including ammonia, hydrogen and methanol, as well as electric-powered ships. Cargo vessels and tankers are also experimenting with wind power, using kites, sails and rotors to supplement traditional propulsion.
▪ Decarbonization will transform the shipping industry over the coming decades. The development of new fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia will take time, so in the meantime ship owners are being encouraged to switch to existing lower-carbon fuels, like LNG and biofuel. LNG group SEA-LNG says 90% of new car and truck carriers that will enter the market in the coming years will be dual fuel LNG.