By 2040, nine major corporations, including Amazon, Ikea, and Unilever, have promised to solely transport goods on ships powered by zero-carbon fuel.
They claim that the “ambitious” objective will encourage the polluting shipping industry to decarbonize more quickly.
Each year, the industry emits one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the whole nation of Germany.
However, attempts to reduce emissions are well behind the Paris Agreement’s targets.
“If we are to solve the climate crisis, maritime shipping, like all sectors of the global economy, must decarbonize rapidly, and multinational companies will be key actors in catalyzing a clean energy transition in shipping,” said Dan Porterfield of the Aspen Institute, which is coordinating the campaign.
“We strongly encourage additional cargo owners, value chain participants, and governments to join us.”
The Full Scope Of Companies Pledged
- Brooks Running
- Frog Bikes
- Inditex (owner of Zara)
Maritime shipping contributes for 3% of all global emissions, with roughly 90% of global trade flowing by sea. Experts predict that if the sector continues to rely on carbon-intensive fuels, this percentage will climb to 10% by 2050.
In addition, the sector produces 10 to 15% of the world’s produced sulphur oxide and nitrous oxide emissions, which can cause respiratory disease.
The maritime sector must utilize zero-carbon fuels at scale by 2030, and be entirely decarbonized by 2050, at the latest, according to the Paris Agreement targets.
However, the International Maritime Organization, which regulates shipping globally, is presently developing a policy that only demands the industry to reduce emissions by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels.
Given the lengthy lifespan of marine cargo boats and the need to increase renewable energy generation, greening the sector will be difficult. The Aspen Institute, on the other hand, claimed that the sector had underinvested in the shift.
Amazon, which has been chastised for its large carbon footprint, said it was “ecstatic” to be a part of the project.
“The moment to act is now,” said Edgar Blanco, Amazon’s head of net-zero carbon. “We encourage other cargo owner firms that wish to lead on tackling climate change to join us in partnership.”
“By signaling our joint commitment to zero-emission shipping, we are sure that we will expedite the change at the pace and scale that is required,” said Michelle Grose, Unilever’s head of logistics.
Unilever stated it was “encouraging our existing carriers to convert to cleaner fuels” because logistics accounts for 15% of the consumer products company’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.