Decarbonization in the Shipping Industry.

Green Shipping

Green Shipping

Shipping, by far the most efficient mode of freight transport is the backbone of the global economy and accounts for approximately 80% of the world’s trade volume, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). However, as the industry continues to develop, it generates increasing carbon emissions from shipping activities.

The 3rd IMO GHG study shows that the maritime transport sector emits around 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These emissions are projected to increase by 50% and 250% by 2050 significantly if mitigation measures are not put in place swiftly. 

Although a global approach to address GHG emissions from international shipping is being led by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), other stakeholders in the industry have taken action to put measures in place to carry out the initiative.

IMO’s Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet

The IMO has adopted and will continue to develop measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil, implement the Ballast Water Management Convention, protect the polar regions, reduce marine litter, improve the efficiency of shipping through the electronic exchange of information, meet the challenges of the digitalization of shipping and enhance the participation of women in the maritime community. The promotion of sustainable shipping and sustainable maritime development is one of the major priorities of IMO in the coming years. Therefore, energy efficiency, new technology and innovation, maritime education and training, maritime security, maritime traffic management and the development of the maritime infrastructure: the development and implementation of global standards covering these and other issues will underpin IMO’s commitment to provide the institutional framework necessary for a green and sustainable global maritime transportation system.

Shell’s “Decarbonising shipping: All Hands on Deck”

The ‘All Hands on Deck’ is a joint report with Deloitte that outlines industry perspectives of how to accelerate decarbonisation of the shipping sector. The report presents 12 recommendations for action, drawn from the views of 80 senior shipping executives, representing 22 countries and almost all segments of the industry. Building on that research, ‘Setting Shell’s Course’ highlights the important role that hydrogen and fuel cells could play in decarbonising shipping, and sets out Shell’s ambition for a net-zero emissions sector by 2050.

The EU strategy to reducing GHG emissions from shipping the shipping industry.

This is a strategy set out by the EU towards reducing GHG emissions from the shipping industry. The strategy consists of 3 consecutive steps:

  • Monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from large ships using EU ports
  • Greenhouse gas reduction targets for the maritime transport sector
  • Further measures, including market-based measures, in the medium to long term.

The contribution of the shipping sector to emission reductions consistent with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement remains an important issue in the EU.The recent amendment to the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) Directive, by Directive (EU) 2018/410 of the European Parliament and the Council, emphasizes the need to act on shipping emissions as well as all other sectors of the economy.The Directive also states that the Commission should regularly review IMO action and calls for action to address shipping emissions from the IMO or the EU to start from 2023, including preparatory work and stakeholder consultation.

DHL’s initiative to use biofuel to neutralize carbon emissions.

 DHL Group’s initiative has to do with neutralizing the carbon emissions of all less-than-container load (LCL) ocean freight shipments from 1 January 2021. As one of the leading ocean freight forwarders worldwide, and in line with Deutsche Post DHL Group’s “Mission 2050 – Zero Emissions”, DHL is committed to lead the transition to clean and sustainable sea freight transport. The CO2 compensation for all LCL shipments will be achieved by using maritime biofuels, utilizing existing and new partnerships. Also the DHL seeks to explore renewable fuels as an important lever to minimize ocean freights’ impact on the environment and also optimize the carbon efficiency of the company’s transport network, fleet and real estate based on the principle of “Burn Less, Burn Clean”.

These and many other more initiatives by other stakeholders when put in place would contribute to achieving the IMO’s aim of a Sustainable Shipping for the near future.

Louis Gyan Kofi
Author: Louis Gyan Kofi

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