Snapshot from the COP 27 Climate Change Conference

Maritime Carbon Solutions has kept an eye on what’s going on under the Climate Change Conference COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt. The decisions made affecting the maritime transportation sector and other ocean related developments has been on our radar. This week the governments of Norway and the United States jointly formally announced the launch of the Green Shipping Challenge.

The Green Shipping Challenge is designed to encourage concrete actions from countries, ports and other actors in the shipping value chain to put the shipping sector on a pathway to align with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global temperature rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The primary purpose of the Green Shipping Challenge is to catalyse the global transition towards a more environmentally friendly shipping industry. According to participants from the Norwegian collaboration, the Norwegian maritime industry has made a commitment to reduce emissions from shipping by 50 % by 2030. This is in line with the country´s climate goal and comes in addition to the current target of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce the CO2 emissions from global shipping by 40 % by 2030 and 70 % by 2050.

There will most likely also be made commitments to develop, design and build zero-emission vessels in the future. If Norway is to achieve its national climate goal by 2030, it has a need of 700 low-emission and 400 zero-emission ships the next couple of years.

Another announcement to take notice of came from Greece, also a major shipping country. The home country of Poseidon, the ancient God of the Oceans, officially joined the Declaration on Zero Emission Shipping by 2050, an agreement it decided not to join at last years COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Some participants took the opportunity to announce plans for new ‘green shipping corridors’, also a key shipping feature that was discussed last year. A green shipping corridor is a zero-emission route between two or more ports. Among the routes being mentioned was Los Angeles-Long Beach-Singapore.

Finally, Portugal has set out some proposals it is preparing for the upcoming IMO meeting in December. The country of the legendary explorer Vasco da Gama proposed plans for its coastline to be considered an emissions control area (ECA) to be included in the already announced plans for alternative-powered vessels. This would limit the sulphur content of fuel burned in the area to 0.1 percent.

2022 has been named ‘the Super Year of the Ocean’, but the work will no doubt go on in the upcoming years. The Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue held in Bonn earlier this year laid out ten key messages for governments to consider in advance of the COP27. Two of the main messages were that ‘We must protect our ocean and value its potential as a place for sustainable climate solutions and actions’ and ‘Cutting greenhouse gas emissions and to build resilience to climate change.’

Let Maritime Carbon Solutions help you cope with the green challenge the shipping industry is facing in the years to come.