Shippings voyage to zero carbon is uncertain

The global marine industry is increasingly focused on reducing its carbon footprint. In fact, over the next 10 years, the only issue seen as having a greater impact is a potential global financial crisis, according to findings from the Global Maritime Issues Monitor 2019, compiled by the Global Maritime Forum in partnership with the International Union of Marine Insurance and Marsh JLT Specialty. The marine industry aims to halve its carbon footprint by 2050. But the technology is missing to do this.

The marine industry emits around 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide (PDF) per year, accounting for almost 3 percent of global emissions. Growing demand for shipping could see its emissions increase to 1.7 billion tons by 2050, unless things change and quickly.

Shippings regulator, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency, has set a target of at least halving shippings total annual GHG emissions by 2050, compared to 2008.

From stem to stern, change is afoot among shipowners. Higher-quality paints are being used to provide a smoother hull, meaning less energy is used on a voyage. Modified propellers, bulbous bows and better-performing engines are being introduced. Some shipowners have increased fleet capacity so each ship can take more cargo, while others have introduced slower speeds when coming into port areas at night.

Commercial maritime vessels are built with a life expectancy of between 20 to 30 years, so any new vessel ideally would be run on zero-c....

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