ABS has published long-term forecasts based on current trends to assess potential outcomes in shipping’s drive to decarbonise
ABS’ report suggests that on the current trajectory, petroleum-based fuels will still have a considerable market share by 2050, an outcome that would make it more difficult for the shipping industry to meet its agreed emissions-reduction goals.
Setting the Course to Low Carbon Shipping examines new fuels, technologies and operational measures in the fight to decarbonise shipping against long-term forecasts for the industry through 2030 and 2050. The second of two ABS ‘Outlook’ documents – the first was published in June 2019 – then applies what ABS knows about existing and future fuels to project which energy sources could be best suited to decarbonise each trade segment and how that could impact the design of the vessels working within them.
ABS chairman, president and chief executive Christopher J Wiernicki said maritime decarbonisation efforts are comprised of three factors: energy efficient technologies, operational optimisation and low- and zero-carbon fuels and that, while each has a role to play, the speed of adopting alternative fuels has the most impact on the sector achieving its emissions reduction targets.
“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 routeing, or ship designs,” Mr Wiernicki said.
“The models in our research suggest our industry will meet the targets for reducing carbon intensity by 2050, but it might miss the target for the total greenhouse gas emissions emitted annually. In short, there is a gap between the industry’s present course, and its stated ambition.”
ABS collaborated with Maritime Strategies International, a British management consultancy, to create a global scenario for future CO2 emissions from shipping, which takes into account the future variation of fuels used in vessels and decarbonisation of the different industrial sectors on which shipping depends.
ABS also worked with American maritime consultancy Herbert Engineering Corporation to develop a series of tanker, bulk carrier and container ship design concepts to explore practical options for meeting IMO’s emission goals.
Maersk chief technical officer Palle Laursen agreed with the report’s findings and said it was imperative to bring the first commercially viable carbon neutral vessel into operation by 2030. Mr Laursen said this could only be done by working across the industry and the supply chain.
ABS’ full report can be accessed here.