ABS says using low carbon fuel is fastest way to decarbonization

The transition to lower carbon fuels will have the single biggest impact on reducing the global carbon footprint.

According to the American Bureau of Shipping’s new report, Low Carbon Shipping Outlook,  the maritime industry will need to do more to meet IMO’s target to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008.  The transition to lower carbon fuels will have the single biggest impact on reducing the global carbon footprint. 

Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Maritime’s decarbonization challenge can be regarded as a complex riddle with three elements: vessel energy efficient technologies, operational optimization and low and zero carbon or carbon neutral fuels. 

“All elements have a role to play, but we have identified that the rate of shipping’s transition to lower carbon fuels will have the single biggest impact on its global carbon footprint; more than any predictable shifts in commodity demand, enhancements to operating practices, vessel routings, or ship designs.

“The models in our research suggest our industry will meet the targets for the reduction in carbon intensity by 2050, but it might miss the target for the total GHG emitted annually. In short, there is a gap between the industry’s present course, and its stated ambition.”

The Outlook’s approach was supported by Maersk.  Palle B. Laursen, Maersk Chief Technical Officer, said that to achieve the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, Maersk needed to bring the first commercially viable carbon neutral vessel into operation by 2030.  He emphasized that this can only if the industry worked together.

Research in the Outlook also suggests that, on the current trajectory, petroleum-based fuels will still have considerable market share by 2050, which has significant implications for meeting the emissions challenge.

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Lee Kok Leong

Lee Kok Leong

Kok Leong, executive editor, has overall editorial responsibility for the direction and focus of Maritime Fairtrade. He has two decades of working experiences, including holding senior regional roles in business-to-business (B2B) print and online publications. He enjoys his work as a journalist, and regards it as a calling.

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