ship emissions

FILE PHOTO: Igor Grochev / Shutterstock

Global Initiative to Tackle Zero-Emission Ships by 2030

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1106
June 2, 2021

Mission Innovation, the global initiative to accelerate public and private clean energy innovation to address climate change, has launched a new Mission for Shipping initiative with the goal of decarbonizing the shipping sector.

Led by Denmark, Norway and United States, Mission for Shipping has a goal of enabling 5% of the global deep-sea shipping fleet to run on zero-emission fuels by 2030 by supporting public-private cooperation and increasing research and development to transition to zero-carbon fuels and propulsion systems.

The Mission for Shipping is one of Mission Innovation’s three global missions spearheading “a decade of innovation” in order to drive global investment in clean energy research, development and demonstrations. The goal is to make clean energy affordable, attractive and accessible to all within this decade in order to achieve Paris Agreement climate goals of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

“Mission Innovation 2.0” is the second phase of the global Mission Innovation initiative, launched alongside the Paris Agreement at the 2015 COP21 conference. With nearly two dozen governments involved, Its members are collectively responsible for over 90% of global public investment in clean energy innovation.

Mission for Shipping’s goal is to demonstrate commercially-viable zero-emission ships by 2030 through the development of new alternative fuels such as green hydrogen, green ammonia, green methanol, and advanced biofuels. The mission will focus on the entire “well-to-wake” value chain from the ship, fuel production, and fuel infrastructure.

In addition, it wants to see 200 ships primarily using these fuels across the world’s main deep sea shipping routes, which the Mission for Shipping says will lay the foundation for increasing numbers in the following years towards zero-emission shipping.

Although ocean-going ships are already the most environmentally-friendly mode of transportation, ships are still responsible for nearly 3% of global CO2 emissions. To combat this, the UN International Maritime Organization has set an initial goal of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions from ships by 50 percent by 2050, compared to 2008 levels.

“We welcome this timely recognition by Mission Innovation of the urgent need to accelerate R&D of zero-carbon technologies in shipping. This will be vital to achieve the ambitious CO2 reduction targets, already agreed at the UN IMO, to which both governments and industry are committed,” said Guy Platten, Secretary General at the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

The ICS points to the proposed $5 billion research and development fund, known as the International Maritime Research Fund (IMRF), as the ideal vehicle to help accelerate zero-carbon fuels and technologies within the shipping industry.

“This firmly aligns with the goals of the 5 billion USD of guaranteed R&D funding which the IMO Maritime Research Fund will provide. By supporting the IMRF initiative at IMO next week, MI governments now have a unique opportunity to make the aims of Mission Innovation a reality,” says Platten.

“The IMRF will make it possible to provide at least 50 per cent of the funding towards a specific government supported R&D project – potentially far more for smaller projects or if the project is undertaken by a developing country. This would contribute much needed R&D funding in line with the announcements made today by Mission Innovation governments. But this requires the support of these same governments at the critical IMO meeting next week,” Platten adds.

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