Getting to Zero Coalition

Accelerating maritime shipping's decarbonization with the development and deployment of commercially viable deep sea zero emission vessels by 2030 towards full decarbonization by 2050.

Climate change is a serious social and economic challenge that requires urgent action involving all sectors of the economy including international shipping.

The adoption in 2018 by the IMO of a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping by at least 50 percent by 2050 as compared to 2008 shipping emissions, whilst pursuing efforts towards phasing them out, set a first target for the maritime industry that can be expected to ultimately align GHG emissions from shipping with the Paris Agreement. In 2023, the Revised Greenhouse Gas Strategy was adopted and marks an important milestone for the industry as it builds confidence in the transition by clearly indicating that a shift to zero- emission fuels is required at scale, starting now.

To achieve reach net-zero GHG emissions by or around, i.e. close to, 2050, as well as the indicative checkpoints for 2030 and 2040, early adoption of zero-emission vessels (ZEVs) and by association scalable zero-emission fuels (SZEFs) are a requirement. Whilst energy and operational efficiencies are required to reduce total fuel consumption and therewith costs, these ambitious targets indicate that such improvements will not be enough, especially beyond 2030.

Achieving the 2050 target requires immediate action. Ships can be operated for 20 years or more, which means that the ships entering the world fleet around 2030 can be expected to be operational in 2050. Similarly, infrastructure associated with fuel supply chains can have a long economic life of up to 50 years, and reconfiguration to new fuels can be a lengthy process. As a consequence, there is a need to have technically feasible, commercially viable, and safe zero emission deep sea vessels entering the global fleet by 2030, as well as a clear path to provide the large amounts of zero carbon energy sources¹ needed to allow the rapid uptake of ZEVs in the following decades.

Decarbonizing shipping is an integral part of the wider global energy transition and can be leveraged to drive investment in energy projects, for instance in developing and middle-income countries, where low cost zero carbon energy sources derived from abundant untapped renewable resources could bring substantial development gains.

Coalition member companies from across the maritime, fuels and infrastructure value chains are committed to making the vision of decarbonized shipping a reality by getting commercially viable ZEVs into operation by 2030 along with the associated scalable infrastructure, towards full decarbonization by 2050, and we invite our industry peers to join us in this “race to the top” for the future of our industry.

Achieving our ambition, requires commitment, perseverance, innovation and cross industry collaboration as well as the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders from beyond our industries, including from the public sector. We are therefore inviting governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders to work with us to achieve the vision of commercially viable and scalable solutions that enable ZEVs by 2030 and rapid growth of this fleet thereafter, towards a full decarbonization by 2050. Together we can take a giant leap towards the decarbonized, sustainable and affordable shipping industry needed for our global future.

The Ambition

The Coalition is defined by the following ambition and a set of core principles that all members share. Delivery of these shared objectives will require collaboration and commitment from the broad range of stakeholders that form the Coalition.

The ambition of the Getting to Zero Coalition set in the Ambition Statement is to have commercially viable ZEVs operating along deep-sea trade routes by 2030, supported by the necessary infrastructure for scalable zero-carbon energy sources including production, distribution, storage and bunkering², towards full decarbonization by 2050.

The Coalition endorses the messages and ambition of the Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization launched in September 2021 which points to the need for shipping to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal and be run entirely on net-zero energy sources by 2050.

The strategy towards 2030 and 2050 ambition

The Strategy for the Transition to Zero-Emission Shipping sets out key milestones for the sector towards full decarbonization. These include milestones within policy, finance, demand and technology/supply. The Transition Strategy also charts the necessary steps to achieve this, including steps that must be taken within the next 24 months.

With the adoption of the revised GHG Strategy, the Getting to Zero Coalition’s Strategy 2024-2028 expresses commitment to support concrete action to enable the sector to align with the IMO’s targets. Efforts to prepare for the transition at the scale and  time stipulated by the IMO must accelerate due to the urgency of the climate crisis combined with the long lead times for building vessels and infrastructure on the one hand, and scaling up energy production that will satisfy the estimated volumes in line with the interim targets on the other hand.

In this context, the strategic objectives of the Coalition in 2024-2028 are:

  • To foster progress around first mover projects: ‘going deep’. The emphasis in this area of work is to explore challenges and identify, test, and demonstrate solutions and generate learnings that will be crucial for individual business models as well as the wider transition, including challenges such as risk allocation, financing, and commercialisation.
  • To prepare the transition at scale: ‘going broad’. Ensuring the transition is truly global will require action by all stakeholders of the maritime value chain, from across all geographies and from small to large companies. The emphasis in this area will therefore be on supporting the development and implementation of policy measures at the IMO, as these will be key for enabling the transition and for closing the competitiveness gap, whilst ensuring a global solution that is more effective, just, and equitable.

The objectives are supported by a range of cross-cutting activities focusing on, for example, policy, finance, and demand and supply in order to generate foundational investments and key learnings across the industry.

This work is based on our Theory of Change including three pillars: (1) policy environment, (2) industry action, and (3) facilitation, dialogue & showcasing. Industry leadership informs and inspires policymakers and provides the confidence to make bold decisions. In turn, the right policy environment on different levels is crucial to enable shipping’s energy transition. Unlocking positive industry and policy action requires facilitation of leadership; fostering of dialogue between levels, geographies and segments; and showcasing tangible progress.

¹ The term zero carbon energy sources should be understood as including zero carbon and net zero carbon energy sources. See definition of zero carbon energy sources
² See industry roadmap