Image: Tawachai07 via Freepik
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has tabled guidelines for the global shipping industry that aligns with the 1.5°C climate goal requirement as action to decarbonise the shipping sector by 2050, in line with the Paris agreement.
A report from IRENA shows that between 80% and 90% of international trade is enabled through maritime means, i.e. bulk and container carriers, as well as oil and chemical tankers. Together, these types of vessels account for 20% of the global fleet, but they are responsible for 85% of the net GHG emissions associated with the shipping sector.
“Despite raised ambitions, current plans fall short of what is needed. This IRENA outlook clearly shows that cutting CO2 emissions in such a strategic, hard to abate sector is technically feasible through green hydrogen fuels, said Director General at IRENA,Francisco La Camara stated in the report.
“Taking early action is critical. May this report encourage policymakers, ship owners and operators, port authorities, renewable energy developers and utilities to work together towards common climate goals and show their ambition to world leaders at the UN climate conference COP26 in Glasgow,” added La Camera.
Meanwhile, the report states that the production costs of alternative fuels and their availability will ultimately dictate the actual employment of renewable fuels. “Moving from nearly zero CO2 emissions to net zero requires a 100% renewable energy mix by 2050.”
While renewable energy costs have been falling at an accelerated rate, further cost declines are needed for renewable energy-derived fuels to become the prime choice of propulsion. Climate goals and decarbonization ambition can be raised by adopting relevant and timely coordinated international policy measures that are relative to different regions.