Report: Decarbonize Maritime by 2035

March 27, 2018

© denisismagilov/AdobeStock
© denisismagilov/AdobeStock

While the notion that maritime transport could be "zero-carbon shipping" by 2035 may seem fallacy to the majority, a new report reviews the pathways to zero-carbon shipping.

According to a  new report published by the International Transport Forum at the OECD, deployment of all currently known technologies could make it possible to almost completely decarbonize maritime shipping by 2035.
 
While the report targets 2035, a recent interview with Angus Frew, Secretary General of BIMCO, the world's largest shipowner organization indicates a common belief to decarbonize, but with a dramatically different timetable. "The industry has to aim to completely de-carbonize, something that realistically will not be until the second half of this century. We are not in a position to even start at this moment. We need to spend research & development on new zero-carbon fuel types and new propulsion units" For the full story, click: https://www.marinelink.com/news/interview-secretary435553
 
The Path to Zero Carbon
Four different decarbonization pathways examined for the study would reduce international shipping’s CO2 emission between 82% and 95% below the level currently projected for 2035.  This reduction equals the annual emissions of 185 coal-fired power plants. According to the report:
 
• Alternative fuels and renewable energy can deliver much of the required reductions. Currently available biofuels should be complemented by other natural or synthetic fuels such as methanol, ammonia and hydrogen. Wind assistance and electric propulsion have shown that they can bring additional reductions.
 
• Technological measures to improve the energy efficiency of ships could yield a substantial part of the needed emission reductions. Market-mature options include, among others, hull design improvements, air lubrication and bulbous bows.
 
• Operational improvements such as slower ship speeds, smoother ship-port co-ordination and use of larger, more efficient ships could bring further, important emission reductions.
The report  recommends to: 
 
• Smart financial incentives to advance decarbonization of maritime shipping.
“Certainty about the desirable decarbonization pathway for shipping will help drive change”, said Olaf Merk, ports and shipping expert at ITF.  “Clear guidance from governments is therefore essential to accelerate the transition towards zero-carbon shipping.“
“Decarbonizing Maritime Transport: Pathways to zero carbon-shipping” is availabe at www.itf-oecd.org/decarbonising-maritime-transport 
 
 

 



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