Zero-Emissions Shipping Is Becoming a Reality

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Global shipping CO2 emissions accounted for 3% of the total global emissions, and emissions could increase by 50% by 2050 of its current trajectory. The industry aims to achieve zero emissions by 2030. To do this, they would need a commercially viable zero-emissions fuel and shipping vessels alternative, or at least 5% of its fleet by 2030 (Mission Innovation, 2021).

Green hydrogen, green ammonia, and green methanol, and advanced biofuels are potential zero-emission fuels that can be used initially by 200 shipping vessels by 2030.

According to Mission Innovation, the industry also includes the entire value chain of the shipping industry, consisting of the hips, fuel production, and fuel infrastructure to reach a significant transition.

Maersk, a global shipping company, is taking bold steps to meet its zero-emissions target. According to Ecotricity, the company has invested billions of dollars for eight green bio-methanol fueled ships. The bio-methanol is produced from waste biomass, and the transition will assist the Danish shipping company transition to become net-zero by 2050.

Read the entire article here:  Maersk leads the way with net-zero emissions shipping!

Another innovation in shipping vessels is from a Swedish firm designing a commercial wind-driven cargo to end the fossil-fuel era and fight climate change.

According to the Thomson Reuters article, the ship’s designer and builder, Sweden’s Wallenius Marine AB, tested the wind-powered automobile carrier model in 2020. The company is confident that the vessel will be available for order towards the end of 2021 and could be in service by 2024 on Atlantic routes.  

Describing how the ship named Oceanbird will look like, the article says that: “The sails, however, look little like traditional billowing fabric sails, instead they more closely be resembling aircraft wings rising vertically from the deck.

The vessel will have engines as a backup but aims to save 90% of carbon emissions compared to a conventional ship run on polluting bunker fuel.”

Aside from an automobile carrier, Oceanbird can also be used as a cruise vessel, bulk carrier, and tanker.

It will also take four days longer for the wind-powered ship to reach its destination than the eight-day travel time for fuel-powered ships. It will also cost higher than conventional ones. Still, operating costs will be lowered if “governments trying to curb climate-changing emissions impose a price on carbon emissions from using fuel”, the article says.

To read more on the wind-powered ship, click the link below:

Back to the future: Swedish firm bets on wind-powered cargo ships

According to a BBC article, taxing shipping companies for their carbon emissions would incentivise ship owners to invest in new technology. The carbon price can be passed on to consumers, translating to six cents per pair of sneakers in some countries.  But could be problematic to export-dependent countries.

Guy Platen, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping, says, “we need to reassure governments who perhaps form the more remote places feel that their supply chains might be disrupted because shipping becomes more expensive”.

According to the article, the United States, together with 90% of the global shipping industry, is pushing for carbon emissions taxes on the industry.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is a UN agency that regulates shipping, targets to cut GHG emissions by 2050. A group led by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) aims to start the negotiations regarding the carbon-pricing scheme for shipping through the IMO as soon as possible or before 2023.

To read more about the news on the proposed carbon tax for shipping companies, click the link below:

Climate change: Shipping industry calls for new global carbon tax

Source Citation:

Zero-emission shipping. (2021). Mission Innovation. Retrieved from

Maersk leads the way with net-zero emission shipping! (2021 August 31). Ecotricity. Retrieved from

Doyle, A. (2020 December 9). Back to the future: Swedish firm bets on wind-powered cargo ships. Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Retrieved from

Josephs, J. (2021, April 21). Climate change: Shipping industry calls for new global carbon tax. BBC News. Retrieved from

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