Shipping & COP27

By Climate Champions | November 1, 2022

Shipping is the backbone of the world’s logistical supply chains, responsible for around 80% of all global trade and supported by 2 million seafarers.

It accounts for 3% of global GHG emissions, a figure which could double by 2050 based on current trends. If it were a country, the global maritime sector would be the sixth largest GHG emitter in the world (larger than Germany).

Long seen as a ‘hard to abate’ sector, the last two years has seen significant momentum in the direction of travel and global shipping could be a source of climate solution. It’s proved that decarbonizing shipping is technologically possible, economically attractive, and unlocks wider social and resilience benefits. So, what significance does COP27 have for the sector?

This is the last COP before the IMO meets in Spring 2023 to decide the final GHG strategy, of which we need to set the sector on a 1.5C aligned trajectory based on the IPCC science, with ambitious 2030 and 2040 targets. This COP27 needs to give confidence to policy makers that this transformation is possible and ensure that the outcomes of COP are transferred to the IMO policy negotiations.

What’s at stake?

Global Shipping is a source of solutions, this is our chance as non-state actors to demonstrate that action is being taken to show that the transformation of shipping is happening and this unlocks wider societal and resilience benefits. Shipping is also a demand market for ramping up investment into Green Hydrogen.

Shipping is leading the way in how it is addressing the capability and green skills gap. It’s also leading the way in climate finance with the agreement at the IMO in the summer of 2022 to develop carbon pricing. This is a source of finance that not only accelerates the decarbonization of the sector but provides developing countries with access to a multilateral fund for investment into green infrastructure and resilience and adaptation.

What the sector needs to see from non state actors

  • Public private partnerships to implement Green Shipping Corridors by the middle of the decade to demonstrate what is needed for rapid scaling and ensuring that the Global South is represented in these first mover projects
  • Shipping customers to send a demand signal and commit to only using zero ocean freight by 2040 and join the coZEV initiative
  • Shipowners to only build zero emission or zero emission ships going forward sending a demand signal to energy providers that shipping is the first mover market for purchasing zero carbon energy supply
  • Finance, Insurers and Charters commit to joining the market initiatives to disclose the climate alignment of their portfolios and ratchet up the initiative to be aligned to 1.5 trajectories.
  • Hydrogen Producers to send a signal to maritime sector that production capacities can be met for shipping’s demand
  • Cities and Ports to join the community to work towards the resilience breakthroughs
  • Shipowners to take action to upskill and retrain seafarers