Maersk has announced its goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, aiming to accelerate the industry’s transition to carbon neutral shipping.
In order to achieve this, the carrier has stated that carbon neutral vessels must be commercially viable by 2030 and an acceleration in new innovations and adaptation of new technology is required.
In Maersk’s view, as world trade and shipping volumes continue to grow, efficiency improvements on the current fossil based technology will only keep emissions at current levels but not reduce them significantly or eliminate them.
Søren Toft, chief operating officer at A.P Moller – Maersk, said: “The only possible way to achieve the so-much-needed decarbonisation in our industry is by fully transforming to new carbon neutral fuels and supply chains.”
Given the 20-25-year life time of a vessel, the Danish company believes it is now time to join forces and start developing the new type of vessels that will be crossing the seas in 2050 in order to achieve its goal.
The carrier has set its target in the hope that it will inspire a strong industry involvement, co-development and sponsorship of sustainable solutions to steer away from current fossil based technology.
Toft said: “The next 5-10 years are going to be crucial. We will invest significant resources for innovation and fleet technology to improve technical and financial viability of decarbonised solutions.”
He added: “Over the last four years, we have invested around US$1bn and engaged 50+ engineers each year in developing and deploying energy efficient solutions. Going forward we cannot do this alone.”
The shipping line’s relative CO2 emissions have been reduced by 46% since 2007 which, according to the company, is approximately 9% more than the industry average.
With the belief that the shipping industry’s role is vital to finding solutions for the climate issue, Maersk aims to solve problems specific to maritime transport and has called for different solutions to automotive, rail and aviation.
In terms of current developments in sustainable technology, the upcoming electric truck is expected to be able to carry a maximum of 2 teu and is projected to run 800 km per charging.
On the other hand, a container vessel carrying thousands of teu sailing from Panama to Rotterdam makes around 8,800km.
The company said that innovative developments are necessary due to current technology’s short battery durability and the lack of charging points along the route.
In 2019, Maersk is planning to initiate open and collaborative dialogue with all possible parties to tackle climate change.
The Danish company’s announcement comes just ahead of the implementation of new bunker pricing calculations by shipping lines, in order to pay for the increased fuel costs that result from the sulphur cap, which begins in January 2020.