The maritime industry accounts for 90% of global trade and 3% of global emissions. Now, through a pledge by The Aspen Institute, nine major companies have pledged to reach zero-carbon shipping by 2040.
The Aspen Institute expects other retailers and manufacturers that use maritime shipping to sign up. If not, maritime emissions could reach 10% of global emissions by 2050.
Dan Porterfield, President of The Aspen Institute – the non-governmental organization that has coordinated these zero-carbon pledges — would like to see all those involved in the supply chain, as well as the government, join in.
“Maritime shipping, like all sectors of the global economy, needs to decarbonize rapidly if we are to solve the climate crisis, and multinational companies will be key actors in catalyzing a clean energy transition.”
Current companies include Amazon, Brooks Running, Frog Bikes, Ikea, Inditex, Michelin, Patagonia, Tchibo, and Unilever.
The push for zero-carbon shipping.
The Paris Agreement and upcoming COP26 summit have certainly lit a fire under companies, as consumers, investors, and governments alike, recognize the need to go green.
In fact, many feel the Paris Agreement and COP26 are the reason behind the carbon credit boom taking place.
Companies that signed the pledge are thrilled to do so, even though some, such as Amazon, have been criticized for not doing more.
Michelle Grose, Head of Logistics at Unilever, said, “By signaling our combined commitment to zero-emission shipping, we are confident that we will accelerate the transition at the pace and the scale that is needed.”
The cost of zero-carbon shipping.
It is estimated that the cost for the shipping industry to be net-zero is $2 trillion. This is mainly because of how much it costs to make cleaner fuels (and newer ships).
There are shipping companies that are making the transition. Still, at almost $175 million per ship, change can’t happen overnight.
However, as companies move forward with cleaner shipping solutions, develop new technologies, and utilize carbon credits to offset emissions, net-zero goals are attainable. This is especially true when companies – such as these nine — join to meet them.