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.