CO2 emission from shipping could be cut by more than 80 per cent by 2035, according to new OECD report. Photo: / Yoda NavaRrete CC BY

Decarbonisation of maritime shipping possible by 2035

A new report published by the OECD says that maximum deployment of currently known technologies could make it possible to achieve almost complete decarbonisation of maritime shipping by 2035. The report includes the following assessment:

“The four potential decarbonisation pathways for shipping identified in the report would result in a CO2 emission reduction between 82 and 95 per cent of the currently projected 2035 level. This reduction equals the annual emissions of approximately 185 coal-fired power plants. Remaining CO2 emissions would be between 44 and 156 million tonnes in 2035.

This compares to a business-as-usual scenario in which carbon emissions from international shipping are projected to increase 23 per cent to 1,090 million tonnes by 2035 compared to the 2015 level. An adjusted baseline projects carbon emissions from maritime shipping of 850 million tonnes by 2035 – equivalent to the annual emissions of 210 coal-fired power plants. The adjusted baseline scenario assumes a substantial reduction in the transport of fossil fuels and a higher share of intra-regional trade.

Alternative fuels and renewable energy can deliver much of required reductions. Advanced biofuels are already available in limited quantities. Gradually, they should be complemented by other natural or synthetic fuels such as methanol, ammonia and hydrogen. Wind assistance could reap additional reductions.

The first electric ships provide transport for short-distance routes. Technological measures to improve energy efficiency of ships could yield a substantial part of the needed emission reductions. Market-mature options include, among others, hull design improvements, air lubrication and bulbous bows. Finally, operational measures such as ship speed reductions, smoother ship-port interfaces and increased ship size could achieve further important emission reductions.”




In this issue