WASHINGTON, DC: In a clear signal to the maritime container industry, nine major shippers have announced they will switch all their ocean freight to vessels powered by zero-carbon fuels by 2040.
Amazon, Brooks Running, Frog Bikes, IKEA, Inditex, Michelin, Patagonia, Tchibo, and Unilever are the first signatories to a 2040 ambition statement facilitated by Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV), an initiative of the Aspen Institute.
Currently the International Maritime Organization only requires the sector to reduce its absolute emissions 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008.
Given the long lifespan of maritime cargo vessels and the need to ramp up renewable energy production, the Institute says the industry must transition to zero-carbon fuels by the mid-2020s, use them at scale by 2030 and be fully decarbonized by 2050, at the latest.
Today, maritime shipping produces one billion tonnes of climate pollution each year — as much as a G7 country or all of America’s coal-fired power plants combined.
It also accounts for three percent of all global emissions that could rise to 10 percent by 2050 if the industry continues to rely on carbon-intensive fuels.
“The coZEV initiative represents an historic step in the fight against climate change,” said Ingrid Irigoyen, director of the Aspen Institute Shipping Decarbonization Initiative, which facilitates the coZEV effort. “Maritime shipping has long been a major producer of climate and air pollution and attempts to transition away from fossil fuels have faced significant hurdles, including a perceived lack of freight customer demand, that has stifled investment and scalability of potential solutions.”
Through coZEV the Institute wants companies to help establish the first zero-carbon maritime transportation corridors; give policymakers confidence to enact measures that will lower the cost of the zero-carbon transition; and harness their collective creativity, market power, bias for action and investment capacity.
“Whether or not shipping will decarbonize is no longer a debate. The question is rather how quickly we can get our collective act together, and which supply chain actors and nations will be poised to harness the vast business opportunity this transition represents,” added Irigoyen.
Story Type: News