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Tuesday, September 28, 2021 

AP MollerMaersk and China Classification Society (CCS) are set to embark on a major project to drive decarbonisation in the shipping industry after signing a landmark agreement in Beijing, which the two parties believe will kickstart research between Chinese and European enterprises and institutions aiming to speed up decarbonisation in shipping.

The agreement was signed at CCS HQ by Sun Feng, CCS VP, and Jens Eskelund, MD Maersk China, and witnessed by other interested parties and organisations, both in person and remotely.

CCS Chairman and President Mo Jianhui said: “Maersk is already a front runner in energy efficiency and decarbonisation. By joining hands with Maersk, I believe we can develop the right set of standards, rules, and technical solutions for the benefit of the whole industry. We believe that open-minded discussions and trusted partnerships are key to make that happen, which will also contribute to China’s ambition of realizing the pledge of reaching peak emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060.”

Eskelund said: “Maersk has set a clear and ambitious goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. China, as a globally leading maritime and shipbuilding nation, will be a crucial partner towards ensuring that our industry will be able to respond effectively to the climate change challenge. We are very pleased to join hands with CCS to collaborate on carbon-neutral technologies and standards and explore the opportunities for international cooperation within sustainable and zero carbon shipping.”

Jianhui said the agreement will see in-depth research undertaken on feasible decarbonisation pathways, innovative technologies and different ship types focusing on the direction of future energy development. He said three expert groups will be established to carry out research on risk assessment and regulation development, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and the sustainability and availability of marine alternative fuels examining the development of methanol and ammonia fuelled container ships. Where appropriate, the participants will jointly apply for Sino-Danish inter-governmental science and technology innovation cooperation project.

Maersk said it is committed to proactively exploring feasible solutions for emission reduction of ships engaging in international voyages, and is seeking to develop and apply new propulsion technologies and carbon-neutral fuels for ships. CCS said it is working together with the industry to study and explore the pathways to carbon emissions peak and neutrality, saying it is making rapid progress on innovative technologies for shipping GHG emission reduction, the development of relevant rules and standards, as well as research into ships using alternative fuels. In the upcoming joint research, CCS will utilise its technical strength to promote cooperation among all parties to produce impactful results.

All participating parties agree that collaboration is key to the decision-making process of researching low and zero-carbon energy used in shipping. As global shipping leaders, China and Europe should enhance cooperation to facilitate cross-sector innovation and knowledge sharing. The partnership of such kind will become a good example of collaboration across the industry to jointly explore the pathway to a net-zero future for shipping, and send a positive message to shipping and ultimately global decarbonisation.

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