At the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco yesterday Norway set out plans to push the world towards zero carbon trade, where goods can be transported across the world’s oceans without emitting any greenhouse gases (GHG).
This goes well beyond the international agreement at IMO in April to reduce shipping sector GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 levels.
The Norwegian environment minister was joined by his counterpart from the Marshall Islands – the world’s second-largest shipping registry, and the head of sustainability at Maersk – the world’s largest container shipping company, as well as the mayor of Oakland.
Norway’s parliament has already declared that its famous fjords will be zero-emission zones by 2026, meaning only electric or hydrogen ships will be able to enter. It is now positioning itself as an exporter of green maritime technology and skills, to profit from the global shipping industry’s energy transition.
Norway’s minister for climate and environment, Ola Elvestuen, commented yesterday: “Zero emission shipping is possible and Norway has started the introduction of zero emission technologies in parts of domestic shipping. I encourage development of national spearhead policies for the introduction of low- and zero emission technologies all around the world.”
She continued: “Green shipping creates blue business. The introduction of low- and zero emission ferries has caused green innovation, competitiveness and jobs in the maritime sector. Larger parts of the shipping sector are inspired – emissions can be cut – companies going green will be sustained.”
The Marshall Islands’ environment minister David Paul added: “The deal we secured at the IMO in April was a historic first step, but there is still a lot of work to do if the shipping industry is to play its full part in ensuring a safe climate future – including by building on that deal in the years ahead. And while governments have now set a strong marker for what is expected of the maritime industry, we need the private sector to set the bar even higher by taking advantage of the massive economic opportunities available.”
Paul was instrumental in getting IMO member states to agree to April’s historic GHG cap on shipping.