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Wednesday, September 22, 2021 

The Getting to Zero Coalition a partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, the World Economic Forum, and Friends of Ocean Action - has issued a 'Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization', in which the signatories urge world leaders to align shipping with the Paris Agreement temperature goal.

The initiative has been launched in conjunction with the UN General Assembly on 22 September, and will be delivered to international governments ahead of COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference being held in November in Glasgow, Scotland. The Global Maritime Forum points out that the private sector is already taking important steps to decarbonise global supply chains, so now governments must deliver the policies that will supercharge the transition and make zero emission shipping the default choice by 2030.

Members of the taskforce behind the document include Cargill Ocean Transportation, Citi, the COP26 Climate Champions team, the Energy Transitions Commission, Lloyd’s Register, Port of Antwerp, Torvald Klaveness, Trafigura, Yara, and UMAS. Among the first organisations to sign the Call are Wärtsilä and ClassNK, alongside names such as Maersk, BW LPG, Carnival Corporation, DSME, Euronav, GasLog, Hapag-Lloyd, MOL, MSC and Shell.

The message is that full decarbonisation of international shipping is urgent and achievable. Private sector actions so far include includes investing in R&D and pilot projects, ordering and building vessels operated carbon neutrally, buying zero emission shipping services, investing in the production of net-zero emission fuels, investing in port and bunkering infrastructure, and assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of shipping related activities.

“For the world to decarbonise, shipping must decarbonise. Our customers are looking to us to decarbonise their supply chain emissions. We are investing significantly in the carbon neutral emissions technologies that are readily available. To make such investments the default choice across our industry, we need a market-based measure to close the competitiveness gap between fossil and zero emission fuels of today and the carbon neutral fuels of tomorrow,” said Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO Fleet & Strategic Brands, AP Moller–Maersk.

Global Maritime Forum CEO Johannah Christensen added: "Decarbonising shipping should leave no country behind. To make the transition to zero emission shipping and fuels equitable and inclusive, policy measures must make sure that decarbonising shipping also brings jobs and opportunities to people in developing countries and emerging economies.”

“Wärtsilä is proud to be a signatory to this Call to Action. We have taken a leading position in transitioning the marine sector towards a decarbonised future. This we do through technological development delivering greater efficiencies, through advanced research into potential future carbon-free fuels, and by harnessing our vast experience and depth of know-how to achieve a cleaner and greener future for shipping,” said Roger Holm, President, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

Hiroaki Sakashita, President & CEO of ClassNK said: “ClassNK commits to support both public and private approaches to zero emission by carrying out reliable regulatory service, developing broader certification service responding to emerging needs, and extending outcomes from partnerships with industry pioneers. With all our strengths, ClassNK will accompany the journey to shipping decarbonisation.”

The document calls on world leaders to:

  • Commit to decarbonising international shipping by 2050 and deliver a clear and equitable implementation plan to achieve this when adopting the IMO GHG Strategy in 2023.
  • Support industrial scale zero emission shipping projects through national action, for instance by setting clear decarbonisation targets for domestic shipping and by providing incentives and support to first movers and broader deployment of zero emissions fuels and vessels.
  • Deliver policy measures that will make zero emission shipping the default choice by 2030, including meaningful market-based measures, taking effect by 2025 that can support the commercial deployment of zero emission vessels and fuels in international shipping.

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