The scale of emissions-related innovation is welcome but the pace must not be allowed to slow if global shipping is to achieve a 5% zero-emission fuel target by 2030, argue Climate Champion Katharine Palmer and Global Maritime Forum CEO, Johannah Christensen.
Top of the COP: The end of fossil fuel-powered transportIt's Transport day at COP26 and technology is transforming how we move by land, air, and sea.
- Over 100 national governments, cities, states and major businesses have signed the Glasgow Declaration on Zero-Emission Cars and Vans to end the sale of internal combustion engines by 2035 in leading markets and 2040 worldwide. At least 13 have signed a similar memorandum of understanding to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered heavy-duty vehicles by 2040.
- Companies, countries, regions and cities today commit to accelerate the roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and call on others to recognize its importance and follow suit.
- A number of Latin American cities including Bogotá, Cuenca and Salvador will turn their public transport fleets to zero-emission by 2035, helping to transform the wider transport sector – one of the region’s biggest emitters.
- Over 200 businesses from across the shipping value chain commit to scaling and commercializing zero-emission shipping vessels and fuels by 2030 and call on governments to get the right regulations and infrastructure in place to enable a just transition by 2050.
- The International Chamber of Shipping, the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the UN Global Compact join forces to help workers transition to a zero-emission shipping industry, including learning new skills and creating new, quality jobs.
- Nine big-name brands including Amazon, IKEA, Michelin, Unilever and Patagonia announce they will shift 100% of their ocean freight to vessels powered by zero-carbon fuel by 2040.
- 19 countries have today signed the Clydebank declaration to support the establishment of zero-emission shipping routes. Collectively aiming to create at least six zero-emissions maritime corridors by the middle of this decade while aspiring to see many more in operation by 2030.
- 28 shipping and wind energy companies today launched Operation Zero, committing to work together to accelerate the decarbonization of operations and maintenance vessels working in the North Sea offshore wind sector. They aim to deploy zero-emission operations and maintenance vessels in the region by 2025.
- The shift to sustainable aviation fuels is approaching a breakthrough, with over 80 aviation industry businesses and large corporate customers now aiming to boost the green fuel to 10% of global jet fuel demand by 2030. That’s a one thousand fold increase from today and would save 60 million tonnes of CO2 per year and provide 300,000 green jobs.
- Three-quarters of corporate sector commitments submitted to the Science-based Targets Initiative so far this year have been aligned with 1.5°C of warming, as the Business Ambition for 1.5°C’s campaign has grown from 28 to 1,000 companies in two years. They represent $23 trillion in market capitalization, according to the campaign’s status report released today.
- In an event on Thursday – Racing to a Better World – UN Secretary-General Antònio Guterres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, COP26 President Alok Sharma, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and others join High-Level Climate Champions Gonzalo Muñoz and Nigel Topping in outlining the plan for the next five years to shift the focus of businesses, investors, cities, regions and civil society from ambition to implementation. Starts at 15:30 in Plenary Cairn Gorm or live-streamed here.
Glasgow declarations: Over 100 countries, cities, states, manufacturers, fleet owners and others come together today to pledge to end the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles in leading markets by 2035 and worldwide by 2040.
Signatories to the declaration on zero-emission cars and vans include the UK, Luxembourg, Rwanda, the Australian Capital Territory, California and three of its cities, Buenos Aires, six South Korean provinces and cities, the Indian Chamber of Commerce, and business majors Volvo, Daimler, GM, Ford, IKEA, Siemens and Uber.
Call to action for EV infrastructure: Recognizing the need for charging infrastructure to develop in-step with the shift from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, 35 companies, countries, regions and cities today commit to accelerate the rollout, thereby enabling a faster shift to zero-emission transport. They call on peers to follow suit.
Latin American cities push for electromobility: Electric public transport is spreading to the developing world, with Latin American cities including Bogotá, Cuenca and Salvador aiming to fully decarbonize their fleets by 2035. The initiative will lower air pollution and greenhouse gases in an increasingly urban region.
→Why it matters: Transport overall accounts for around a quarter of global CO2 emissions, and road vehicles produce three-quarters of that (IEA). To reach net-zero emissions before 2050, zero-emission vehicles must account for 15% of passenger vehicle and van sales by 2025 and 100% in leading markets by 2035, according to the Race to Zero’s 2030 Breakthroughs.
Electric vehicles are a proven technology for light-duty vehicles, buses and small and medium trucks, and some 400 models are expected by 2025, according to the Marrakech Partnership’s Climate Action Pathway for the transport sector. EV charging infrastructure is expected to hit a tipping point around 2025 with price parity between fossil fuel and electric cars.
People Speak Up
Speed up the end of tailpipe pollution: More than 35 businesses, transport initiatives, grassroots organizations and influential individuals have signed the Count Us In Citizens’ Declaration, calling on world leaders to adopt comprehensive policy measures that support the end of pollution from road transport. It says countries with the highest levels of road transport pollution must ensure that all new buses are zero-emissions by 2030, followed by new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and new heavy-duty vehicles by 2040. The movement is supported by Count Us In, Extreme E, Route Zero and the Drive Electric Campaign.
→Why it matters: 85% of land transport CO2 can be decarbonized in line with 1.5°C through existing and emerging policies and technologies. The other 15% is up to behavioural changes, especially for urban passenger transport, according to the Climate Action Pathway.
Getting to Zero Coalition: In a call to action issued today, the Getting to Zero Coalition commits to get zero-emissions vessels and fuels on the water by 2030. With the number of industry signatories growing to 200, from 150 in September, the coalition calls on governments to: 1) commit to decarbonizing shipping by 2050; 2) support large-scale demonstration projects; 3) set policies from 2023 that make zero-emissions shipping the default choice by 2030.
Shipping Just Transition Taskforce: The International Chamber of Shipping (representing shipowners), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (representing seafarers), and the UN Global Compact will work together to support millions of seafarers through the transition to zero-emission shipping. They will focus on developing the skills and creating the high quality jobs needed in a decarbonized economy. They’ll identify best practice across the value chain and provide policy recommendations for an equitable transition – with a specific focus on developing economies.
Operation Zero: Shipping industry and renewable energy companies intend to deploy zero-emission vessels to maintain the North Sea’s wind farms by 2025, and will look at the type of infrastructure needed onland to support the transition. Members pledge to share best practices for decarbonizing operations and maintenance vehicles in offshore wind, look at how offshore wind could be used in the future shipping fuel mix and decarbonize and help decarbonize the maritime industry, and work to fairly distribute costs and risks from the energy transition.
Cargo Users Push for Green
Cargo owners commit to zero: Brands including Amazon, Brooks Running, Frog Bikes, IKEA, Inditex, Michelin, Patagonia, Tchibo and Unilever will shift 100% of their ocean freight to vessels that use zero-carbon fuels by 2040, upping the pressure on shipping companies and bunker fuel producers to accelerate their transition.
Green corridors: 19 countries have signed the Clydebank Declaration to support the establishment of at least six zero-emissions maritime routes between two or more ports by 2025, and more by 2030. The group will assess its goals in 2025 with a view to increasing the number of green corridors.
→Why it matters: The shipping industry moves 90% of global trade and accounts for nearly 3% of greenhouse gas emissions. Its emissions could grow by 84-100% if shipping business continues as usual. To fully decarbonize by 2050, zero-emissions fuels must make up 5% of international shipping fuels and 15% of domestic fuels by 2030, according to the Race to Zero’s 2030 Breakthroughs.
Feasible shipping fuel alternatives do exist, but research and development is needed to create large-scale system demonstrations by 2025, according to the Marrakech Partnership’s Climate Action Pathway for the transport sector.
An A380 Airbus recently flew for three hours with one engine powered entirely by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), made from used cooking oil and other fats.
Green corridors have been likened to special economic zones at sea — arenas where companies deploy new technologies and business models at full scale, interacting with each other and with regulations and incentives tailored to their efforts.
Transforming global shipping is a critical part of reaching the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C and building zero emissions, resilient global supply chains that billions of people rely on.