Could Maersk’s Zero-emissions Pledge Fail?
The European Commission has set out to lower carbon emissions by proposing eight different scenarios with different goals. The most ambitious is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This is also an important objective for the shipping industry, as the predictions for the future are dire if no drastic measures are taken. According to the International Transport Forum (ITF), the CO2 emissions from shipping could grow between 50% and 250% by 2050. Major shipowners are looking for ways to stop this, but could it be too little, too late?
In April 2018, the member states of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreed on the “Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions from ships”. The aim of it is to cut down the harmful emissions in international shipping by at least 50% before 2050 compared to levels in 2008. Following this strategy, Maersk is aiming for the highest possible reductions by pledging to strive for zero emissions by 2050.
Maersk as the largest container shipping company in the world is setting an example to other maritime companies to raise awareness of environmental issues and band together to protect the atmosphere. A big help to find like-minded collaborators from across the value chain and discuss how zero emissions can be reached is the 4th International Green & Smart Shipping Summit. While a lot of technology companies are attending this and similar events to support green shipping objectives and plan to join Maersk in search of a solution, there are many who doubt the feasibility of the Danish shipping giant’s pledge.
Maersk’s chief executive officer has previously spoken out about the reluctance to use carbon offsets. Many believe that without it, the company will not be able to effectively protect the environment from the carbon dioxide emissions it is producing now, which is estimated to be around 36 million metric tons. However, Maersk is putting trust in innovative technologies while also looking into alternative powering solutions, including hydrogen, ammonia, electricity and hybrid vessels. For example, the company plans to cooperate with engine producers and technology developers to build emission-free ships by 2030.
One option to help out could be the liquid hydrogen fuel-gas system being developed by MAN Cryo, a subsidiary of MAN Energy Solutions. While at the moment it serves vessels, covering short routes, such as ferries, the company is working on scaling the technology to power larger ships. Just like Maersk, MAN Cryo is committed to achieving zero fossil emissions within the maritime sector by 2050.
This is just one of many new technologies being developed for marine applications on the market. Many maritime service providers and innovators are looking into maximising efficiency and providing solutions to eliminate harmful emissions from shipping. Find out what they have already achieved by attending the 4th International Green & Smart Shipping Summit in Rotterdam on 8-9 October, where a number of panel discussions will be dedicated to using innovations and providing solutions for green initiatives in the industry.