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Accelerating the energy transition in shipping and beyond

23 September 2019
Getting to zero coalition

A.P. Moller - Maersk is a founding member of the Getting to Zero Coalition announced on September 23rd at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York. The coalition is a crucial vehicle for decarbonising global shipping and energy value chains by 2050 as well as accelerating the deployment of zero emissions vessels by 2030.

By Clarissa David

As industry leader, Maersk has invested significantly in efficiency measures and brought down our relative emissions in the last decade. By the end of 2017 we had reached 41% reduction of our emissions relative to cargo moved and over the years be running approx. 10% better than industry average. This has given us a leadership position which we are proud of and we are convinced that aiming high has pushed us to do more than we would have else done.

The above-mentioned experience in efficiency measures has led us to the conclusion that efficiency measures are not enough to decarbonize as it can only keep emissions flat. We must introduce carbon neutral propulsion technologies. The shipping industry will not be possible to become carbon neutral if we don´t find a different type of fuel or a different way to power our assets.

For Maersk, it is not an option but a necessity as we feel a strong responsibility to improve the outlook for future generations. That is why in December 2018 we communicated our ambition to have carbon neutral marine operations by 2050, far beyond any regulatory frameworks in place today.

Being a founding member of Getting to Zero is an important waypoint on our journey, as we stand side-by-side with senior leaders across the maritime, energy, infrastructure, and finance sectors and work with decision-makers from governments and inter-governmental organisations.

“Maersk is in a unique position to set a visionary ambition for the future. ‘Getting to Zero’ is a great opportunity for Maersk to lead the charge for decarbonising logistics and ensure that our industry adds its strong voice to the global dialogue on climate change,” expresses Soren Toft, Chief Operating Officer.

With the vessels and fuel supply chains of the future being developed now, the next decade would be key in the Coalition’s efforts to co-develop and deploy sustainable solutions for the logistics industry. The aim is to have the first commercially viable, deep-sea carbon-neutral vessel by 2030.

“Maersk is in a unique position to set a visionary ambition for the future. ‘Getting to Zero’ is a great opportunity for Maersk to lead the charge for decarbonising logistics and ensure that our industry adds its strong voice to the global dialogue on climate change

Soren Toft, Chief Operating Officer

Powerful coalition

Joining Maersk in this powerful coalition are global companies across different industries, such as Citibank, Shell, Cargill, Kuehne + Nigel, and Unilever. The Coalition is a partnership among Friends of Ocean Action, Global Maritime Forum, and the World Economic Forum.

The ambition of Getting to Zero Coalition is closely aligned with the initial greenhouse gas (GHG) strategy for international shipping adopted by the United Nations International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The strategy sets GHG emission reduction by at least 50 percent of 2008 levels by 2050, ultimately phasing out these emissions as soon as possible within the century.

Hard-to-abate sector

The transport industry is responsible for 23 percent of the global GHG emissions annually, with 2-3 percent coming from maritime shipping. If maritime shipping were a country, it would be the world’s sixth biggest GHG emitter.

Maritime shipping is a hard-to-abate sector, considered as such because costs of cutting carbon emissions are high and progress in reducing them is slow. Other hard-to-abate sectors are aviation, cement, steel, chemicals, and long-distance road transport.

Decarbonising shipping and its energy value chains demands for close collaboration and deliberate collective action from shipping companies, logistics providers, researchers, technology developers, cargo owners, and legislators to transform the industry and move away from fossil-based technology.

The Getting to Zero Coalition highlights the need for collective action to decarbonise shipping and its energy value chains, ensuring that global trade is served in a sustainable way. By decarbonising shipping, the Coalition aims to inspire the transformation of other hard-to-abate industries.

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