Making marine decarbonization a priority in 2022

Making marine decarbonization a priority in 2022

Jan. 28 2022

2050 isn’t just some year in the distant future. Marine stakeholders know that they must take action now to ensure a successful transition from carbon-heavy to zero-carbon shipping and meet mid-century international climate targets. Stakeholders today are assessing the industry’s starting position, preparing for major experimentation and technology development, and seeking investment to scale up green solutions.

This is no small challenge. Reaching the marine industry’s ultimate destination – a complete ecosystem of zero-carbon shipping – means both cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and protecting biodiversity and marine life. Boosted by emerging alternative fuels, changing legislation and new classification Rules, shipowners can target first partial, then full decarbonization.

Challenges and signs of hope

Marine stakeholders will need to confront a range of obstacles to reach the industry’s 2050 objectives. Country-level policies and politics play a large role in determining and enacting legislation, improving infrastructure and providing funding for large-scale, zero-emissions shipping projects. A lack of sufficient investment, carbon levies and uniform global policies could see the shipping industry fall short of its goals. These external conditions may further be compounded by internal disagreements, as marine stakeholders debate which alternative fuel and propulsion solutions deliver the best performance.

Still, in equal measure to these challenges, there is great potential for industry decarbonization. Carbon pricing and levies will be key tools for funding green R&D projects, and can spur stakeholders to action. The industry can also lean on its long history of collaboration between shipowners, shipyards, equipment manufacturers and solutions providers to accelerate short-term decarbonization.

Exploring short-term solutions

Existing technologies, including wind propulsion and batteries, can be integrated onboard ships to reduce GHG emissions. Shipowners can also undertake measures to improve operational efficiency and limit fuel consumption. To safeguard biodiversity and protect the marine environment, shipowners can use scrubbers and prioritize electric vessels for short-sea shipping.

Moreover, marine actors can leverage their individual and collective data to better understand the current situation and measure progress. This will enable the industry to transform quickly, and help shipowners make faster, more efficient decisions.

Your partner in marine decarbonization

Shipping is an essential service, with over 90% of global trade being transported by sea. Because of this, the marine industry has an increasing responsibility to pursue and meet climate targets, uniting stakeholders to protect the seas.

Bureau Veritas’ aims to shape a better maritime world, supporting industry players in pioneering, de-risking and implementing new technologies. We understand the challenges inherent to designing, building and operating sustainable assets, and offer practical advice for navigating the energy transition. Our goal is to help marine stakeholders embrace decarbonization, and enable shipowners to transport goods safely and sustainably.