The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set ambitious targets for the shipping industry. In addition to the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap, shipowners and operators must consider the greenhouse gas (GHG) targets for 2030 and even more ambitious emissions goals for 2050.
Adapting to new regulations and requirements aimed at lowering the industry’s collective carbon footprint will require innovative solutions that address low and zero carbon fuels, new ship technologies and more efficient operations.
To help drive decarbonization strategies, ABS has published Setting the Course to Low Carbon Shipping: Pathways to Sustainable Shipping, the second in a series of industry outlook documents — the first was published in June 2019 — to reference available carbon-reduction strategies and inform the shipping industry as it enters the uncharted waters of the 2030/2050 emissions challenge.
The newly released outlook defines three primary fuel pathways and offers key insights into: alternative power generation systems; the evolution of global trade and its effect on fleet size; fuel consumption and emissions; operational measures to optimize vessel usage and GHG emissions; and conceptual designs and specifications for vessels opting to use alternative fuels and power generation systems.
ABS offers this outlook as a tool to help shipowners and operators understand the complexity of the task ahead and to move forward effectively as they assess their options for a transition to low-carbon operations.
Key takeaways from the outlook include:
The Impact on the Sustainability of the Industry
Markets are a powerful incentive for innovation, and regulation is needed to establish common goals. When it comes to reducing GHG emissions for shipping, not only will supporting regulation potentially have an impact on ship designs, fuel selections and vessel operations, it may also affect the choice of cargoes that will be transported, as well as the trade routes and ship sizes.
In that light, the industry will need regulation that provides a compliance process that is technically proven, safe and commercially sustainable, one that encourages early adopters of new technologies.
Lowering the carbon footprint of an industry that moves almost 90% of global trade is a significant undertaking. Change on that scale will not come quickly, great efforts will be required to ensure that shipping’s positive contributions to global trade and the economy remain visible for all to see.
2019 Ballast Water Management Advisory
2019 Best Practices for Operations of Ballast Water Management Systems Report
Practical Considerations for the Installation of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems
Practical Considerations for the Transition to 2020 Compliant Fuels
2019 Regulatory Debrief of EEDI Phase 3 Compliance
ABS Advisory on Gas and Other Low Flashpoint Fuels
ABS Advisory on Gas and Other Low Flashpoint Fuels (Japanese Version)
2019 ABS Low Carbon Shipping Outlook (English)
2019 ABS Low Carbon Shipping Outlook (Japanese)