A race against time and against ourselves. Against the dangerous idea that we can’t do this, that there is no way.
Unlike most races, it won’t have one winner. In this race we all win, or we all lose. Winning it requires a radical, unprecedented level of collaboration, from all corners of our world. From our cities, businesses, regions and investors. From people everywhere.
Together we’re racing for a better world. A zero carbon and resilient world. A healthier, safer, fairer world. A world of wellbeing, abundance and joy, where the air is fresher, our jobs are well-paid and dignified, and our future is clear.
To get there we need to run fast, and get faster. We need more and more people to join the race, and right now. This is not about 2050, it’s about today.
Together, we can do this. And we’re already on our way.
The tiny Belgian plane that ‘sniffs’ out polluting ships
By Sean Fleming, Formative Content | October 8, 2021
With a bird’s eye view of the world’s busiest shipping lane, a small plane is helping to ‘sniff out’ some of the most polluting ships.
Every day, more than 500 ships pass through the narrow strip of ocean separating the UK from continental Europe. It’s a vital conduit for billions of tonnes of cargo each year, travelling to and from key ports in the Middle East, Europe and America.
Flying above shipping lanes, the plane can assess the levels of emissions coming from around 15 ships per hour. Any vessel thought to be exceeding emissions levels will be re-tested in port and, if the findings are confirmed, could be fined.
Shipping has been identified as a source of around 2.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and an estimated 940 million tonnes of CO2 per year. And these emissions are projected to grow rapidly unless action is taken.
A special edition of the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Dialogues on 29 September 2021, looked at the challenges of reducing the impact of pollution and carbon emissions from hard-to-abate sectors.
Soren Skou, CEO of the Danish shipping giant Møller-Maersk, said that reducing emissions from shipping cannot be achieved by shipping companies alone. “We’re trying to solve a chicken and egg problem,” he said. “Nobody is producing green fuels for shipping, because no ships are using it.”
“We’re aware we’re part of the problem in terms of our emissions. But also believe we’re part of the solution,” he continued.
Speaking at the same event, John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy on Climate, said the world must “accelerate everything” to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
“We’re behind, dangerously behind,” he said. “This entire challenge is defined by arithmetic and physics. We know the numbers and we must be guided by that.”
Kerry said that around 50% of the required reduction in emissions will come from future technologies, some of which aren’t yet operating at scale.
Transitioning to zero and near-zero emission economies is at the core of addressing the three planetary crises outlined by the UN: climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution currently underway. However, decarbonization cannot be treated in isolation. As recognized in the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, “ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies […]
Current efforts in international shipping’s decarbonization focus on fuel-related emissions, however huge reductions can be achieved by progressively switching to steel with lower embodied CO₂ emissions.
We cannot stay aligned with a 1.5 degree C scenario without complementing electrification with strategies that will reduce vehicle kilometers traveled, argue Mohamed Hegazy and Domenik Kohl, Climate Champions Team.