The shipping sector accounts for over 80% of all trade, with further growth expected. The sector also represents around 3% of total CO2 emissions. If unchecked, this could rise by half by 2050.
The International Maritime Organization acknowledges the need for climate action and they’ve mandated emission reductions of 5% for all vessels by 2050.
The United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States have all declared a target for net-zero shipping emissions within the same time frame.
In order to reach these goals, the sector would need to implement strategic zero-emission programs within the next few years. The technologies that are necessary are available, but they need to be deployed at a greater scale, greater speed, whilst at a lower cost.
Zero-emission fuels are extremely expensive as compared to conventional fuels, and finding industry-wide solutions isn't easy, given the complex nature of the sector.
However, one way to accelerate decarbonization is to implement "green corridors," which are specific trade routes between major port hubs where zero-emission solutions are being supported.
These "green corridors" would be large enough to include all value-chain actors, such as fuel producers, cargo owners, and regulatory authorities.
They would provide certainty to fuel producers and send signals to vessel operators, shipyards, and engine manufacturers to ramp up investment in zero-emission shipping, ultimately making the risks a little better for all involved.