Melissa Williams, President of Shell Marine, emphasizes the urgency for the shipping industry to ramp up efforts in decarbonization. Williams highlights crucial areas that demand focused attention, including infrastructure replacement, roles, and decision-making processes.
The time for climate action – more than ever – is now. Although change is happening, there is growing consensus that more needs to be done across all sectors to reach net zero by 2050. The shipping sector has a unique role to play: as the backbone of global trade, it is not only a sector that must decarbonise, but also an enabler of global decarbonisation through the transportation of low-carbon fuels. Decarbonisation requires transformational change across the sector, bold leadership, and the involvement of multiple stakeholders.
The first report on decarbonising shipping, All Hands on Deck, published in 2020, revealed the barriers to, and readiness factors for, decarbonisation. It highlighted 12 solutions that needed significant action by 2030 and offered a longer-term view on focus areas for net-zero emissions (NZE) by 2050. The report was well received, winning accolades for thought leadership, and becoming a “recommended read” by the Getting to Zero Coalition. It also inspired action, with several partnerships created, such as North America’s Blue Sky Maritime Coalition.
All Hands on Deck 2.0 serves as a refresher or “temperature check” across the sector, to assess the prevailing views, sentiments and concerns in the industry. The report aims to provide a high-level overview of progress since the publication of All Hands on Deck “1.0” in 2020, and highlight solutions that the sector can act on without delay. As such, this update adopts a nearer-term view, to emphasise a selection of specific, more immediate actions that enhance the solutions originally identified: what needs to happen right now, and who needs to do it.
To develop this update, more than 25 leaders across all segments of the shipping sector were re-engaged to share their perspectives on the decarbonisation challenge. This update also draws on research and analysis, to give depth to the perspectives shared.
It is hoped that All Hands on Deck 2.0 will serve as a call to action for the sector to translate theoretical commitments into practical actions and capital investments. Shipping is motivated to change, and the goodwill of conversations with executives and experts is encouraging, with the consensus view being “a way can be found to reduce emissions, as long as concrete action by the sector’s leaders starts immediately.”
REPORT HIGHLIGHTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Decarbonisation remains a key focus for the shipping sector, some progress has been made in the past two to three years, but the magnitude of action and investment needs to step up with speed to achieve the ambition of net zero by 2050, Six critical recommendations are proposed:
Scale up pockets of demand
A key accelerator is to create clearer signals of demand, through natural demand aggregation for low-carbon fuels and low-emission vessels. Joint-purchasing coalitions, grouping of long-term contracts, and book & claim models are some of the tools that could achieve this.
Take a segment-specific approach
Deep-sea shipping cannot be treated as one homogeneous segment. The common characteristics of each segment must be identified, to allow prioritisation and tailoring of solutions, starting with the first movers.
Leverage local/regional regulation for momentum
Effective local and regional regulation is now more commonly regarded as a means to advancing near-term material impact on total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the shipping sector, while anticipating that global regulation will need to quickly follow to achieve a level playing field towards a net-zero target.
Drive clarity on fuel pathways
Deeper understanding of fuel technologies and segment needs has been achieved, and should serve as the stepping-stone for decisions on a dominant set of viable fuel pathways. Increasing demonstration projects.
Adopt an integrated view on asset improvement
Fleet composition is crucial in tackling the decarbonisation challenge, and requires an integrated set of levers including efficiency measures, increased investment in dual-fuel capable vessels, and faster conversion and increased modularity via retrofits – as well as ensuring sufficient newbuild and repair-yard capacity to undertake these changes.
Activate the first green corridors
Decarbonisation can be led by regional change, where a few specific actors collaborate to drive decarbonisation in a particular geography. Taking the steps to operationalise the first green corridors offers a concrete proof point that can be scaled for inter-regional impact.
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