Short-term actions

Short-Term Actions Taskforce

Identifying actions that maritime and shipping industries can take now to support shipping’s transition to a sustainable and resilient zero-emission future

The maritime industry must peak its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as soon as possible and fully decarbonise by 2050. Short-term actions that improve the operational efficiency of existing vessels can play a critical role in reducing emissions today, while also making the long-term transition to more expensive zero-emission fuels more manageable.

The challenge

To capture the significant potential offered by operational efficiencies and the fuel economies that come with it, the maritime industry will need to overcome the inertia of hundreds of years of tradition and antiquated contracts. Unlocking this potential is not simple, yet capitalising fully on operational efficiency will be a prerequisite to achieving 2030 and 2050 emissions reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement.

The opportunity

Research suggests that optimising operational efficiency has the potential to reduce annual emissions by up to 25%, the equivalent of more than 200m tonnes of CO2. Reconciling the operational efficiency opportunity will be compicated, but it is possible, and does not require new technologies or complex regulatory leaps. Starting in January 2022, Taskforce members have identified four main areas that can become critical enablers of improvement:

  • Data sharing & transparency: The availability of data today is a major enabler of the transparency and trust needed to increase the uptake of operational efficiency in shipping.
  • Contractual changes: Standard contracts have dominated the sector for over a century and need to be modernised, for example, via clauses that enable and encourage operational efficiency.
  • Pilots and value chain engagement: Running pilots across value chains will help identify measures to enhance trust and collaboration across shipowners, charterers, consumers, ports and terminals, for example through the use of virtual arrival.
  • Culture and Leadership: These changes will involve a mindset shift at all levels of companies and across business units through internal incentives and change management.