Maritime Leaders Call For International Shipping Decarbonization

More than 150 maritime industry leaders and organizations signed an industry-led call for world leaders to commit to decarbonizing international shipping by 2050, support industrial-scale zero-emission shipping projects through national action and deliver the policy measures that will make zero-emission shipping the default choice by 2030.

The Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization was announced on September 22 by the Global Maritime Forum.

The signatories include many of the world’s largest actors in global trade: A.P. Moller-Maersk, BHP, BP, Bunge, BW LPG, Carnival Corporation, Cargill Ocean Transportation, Citi, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Euronav, GasLog, Hapag-Lloyd, Lloyd’s Register, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Olympic Shipping and Management, Panama Canal Authority, Port of Rotterdam, Rio Tinto, Shell, Trafigura, Ultranav, Volvo and Yara. Each signatory has made climate commitments and is taking concrete actions.

The signatories call on governments, in conjunction with the U.N. General Assembly and ahead of critical climate negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow this November, to work together with industry to deliver the policies and investments needed to reach critical tipping points in decarbonizing global supply chains and the global economy.

Ships transport around 80 percent of global trade and account for about 3 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2018, the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an initial GHG strategy. It aims to reduce international shipping’s total annual GHG emissions by at least 50 percent of 2008 levels by 2050. The strategy is set to be revised in 2023.

“Now is the time to raise our ambitions and align shipping worldwide—a significant carrier of global trade—with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Jane Fraser, CEO of Citi. “We are working closely with our clients to advance the shipping industry’s transition to net zero emissions and, with the support of strong public policy measures, we can accelerate our collective efforts to decarbonize the global economy.”

The private sector is already taking concrete actions to decarbonize shipping. This includes investing in research and pilot projects, ordering and building vessels operated carbon neutrally, buying zero-emission shipping services, investing in the production of net-zero emission fuels, investing in port and bunkering infrastructure and assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of shipping related activities, according to the announcement.

“Decarbonizing shipping should leave no country behind. To make the transition to zero-emission shipping and fuels equitable and inclusive, policy measures must make sure that decarbonizing shipping also brings jobs and opportunities to people in developing countries and emerging economies,” said Johannah Christensen, CEO of the Global Maritime Forum.

Signatories of the Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization call on world leaders to:

• commit to decarbonizing international shipping by 2050 and deliver a clear and equitable implementation plan to achieve this when adopting the IMO GHG Strategy in 2023;

• support industrial scale zero-emission shipping projects through national action, for instance by setting clear decarbonization targets for domestic shipping and by providing incentives and support to first movers and broader deployment of zero emissions fuels and vessels; and

• deliver policy measures that will make zero-emission shipping the default choice by 2030, including meaningful market-based measures taking effect by 2025 that can support the commercial deployment of zero-emission vessels and fuels in international shipping.

The Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization was developed by a multi-stakeholder taskforce convened by the Getting to Zero Coalition, a partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, the World Economic Forum and Friends of Ocean Action.