How decarbonizing shipping could unlock a global energy transition

Johannah Christensen Energy Solutions Shipping & Ports

How decarbonizing shipping could unlock a global energy transition

Climate change requires urgent action by all sectors of the economy including maritime shipping, which carries close to 80% of global trade and accounts for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) annually. This is comparable with the emissions of large economies such as Germany and Japan. As global trade flows increase to serve a growing and more prosperous world population, emissions from shipping could grow between 50 and 250% by 2050 if no action is taken.

Shipping is not included the Paris Agreement. However, to curb emissions, member states of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping, adopted an initial GHG strategy in April 2018. The strategy prescribes that GHG emissions from international shipping must peak as soon as possible and that the industry must reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050, with a strong emphasis on zero emissions. This will ultimately align emissions from shipping with the Paris Agreement.

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