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Shipping industry needs to pull on every lever to go green

By December 19, 2021December 29th, 2021No Comments

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Shipping industry needs to pull on every lever to go green

Dec 19, 2021 • Financial Times

Retailers and manufacturers such as Ikea, Amazon and Unilever are pressuring the industry to decarbonize, demanding use of only zero-emission vessels by 2040; yet head of marine engine maker says there is no silver bullet for one of the world’s most polluting industries

There is no silver bullet for decarbonizing the shipping industry and it would be dangerous for governments to bet on simple solutions for one of the world’s most polluting sectors, according to one of the largest manufacturers of marine engines.

Shipping, which was not part of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, is viewed as one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise as most of the world’s container ships travel huge distances between ports, meaning that electric batteries are not a realistic solution. Much of the pressure to decarbonise shipping is coming from retailers and manufacturers such as Ikea, Amazon and Unilever who are demanding to use only zero-emission vessels by 2040.

The challenge arises from the difficulties in replacing the bunker fuel currently used, which is optimal because of its high energy density, but which produces has high CO2 emissions. LNG would require fuelling tanks about double the size of bunker fuel; ammonia, favoured by the Norwegian shipping industry, would need tanks four times’ larger; hydrogen, eight times; and electric batteries, 40 times. All these would require different designs for vessels to accommodate them.

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