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Getting to Zero Coalition observes first movers in maritime committed to decarbonisation

04 Sep 2020

The second biannual working session of the Getting to Zero Coalition has found first movers of the maritime sector standing steadfast to take the steps needed to develop, test and scale the technologies required to decarbonize international shipping

That momentum is building around shipping’s decarbonization was confirmed last week, when the Getting to Zero Coalition published a preliminary mapping of 66 zero emission pilots and demonstration projects currently underway around the world, said the Global Maritime Forum (GMF). 

GMF noted that research presented at the working session shows that the short term-ambition – adopted by member states of the International Maritime Organization in April 2018 – of reducing international shipping’s emissions per transport work by at least 40% by 2030, will not be enough to prevent shipping’s adverse impact on the climate.

“Members of the Getting to Zero Coalition are fully committed to fast-tracking shipping’s decarbonization. I am impressed by the desire to collaborate, share learnings, and take concrete action,” said Johannah Christensen, Managing Director, Head of Projects & Programmes, Global Maritime Forum. 

“While members are working together to develop new technologies and business models, they call for ambitious, global regulation to set the industry on a climate-friendly course, but they are prepared to move ahead of the IMO and other regulators to ensure that scalable solutions are in place when regulation is adopted.” 

“The shipping ecosystem could well get to COP26 in Glasgow as an example of how to create a zero emission future and work together around decarbonization,” said Nigel Topping, High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP26 at the session’s closing plenary. 

“I look forward to seeing how other industries can learn from you and join the race to zero. We have a challenging but inspiring year ahead of us.”

GMF observed that the subject of Covid-19 was notably absent from the conversations at the working session. This provides confidence that the pandemic has not shifted the attention of the maritime industry away from its obligation to decarbonize, it said.

“Policymakers are uniquely positioned to accelerate the decarbonization of shipping and other hard-to-abate sectors when deciding on policies and stimulus measures to kickstart the global economy post Covid-19,” said Christoph Wolff, Head of Shaping the Future of Mobility, World Economic Forum.

“Governments can and must play an important role in building back better by incentivizing the large-scale demonstration projects that are required to drive down costs and accelerate the development of zero carbon technologies.” 

Launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York last September, the Getting to Zero Coalition now counts more than 150 member organizations, with non-profit research and development center, 

The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, to be the latest knowledge partner to join the Coalition.

To meet the ambition of having commercially viable zero emission vessels operating along deep sea trade routes by 2030, GMF said discussions at the working session reveal the need to: 

  • develop policies, demand drivers and funding mechanisms to motivate and de-risk first mover investments; 
  • adopt policy instruments and market-based measures to close the competitiveness gap between conventional and zero emission fuels and associated infrastructure; 
  • explore and narrow down technologies, fuel options and transition pathways; 
  • identify and grasp global opportunities for green energy projects that can propel maritime shipping’s decarbonization and contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth in developing economies – while making sure no countries are left behind.

Photo credit: kobu-agency
Published: 4 September 2020


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