The COP26 made a little bit of wave in supporting zero emission shipping on zero emision maritime corridors, that could be extended to inland waterway transport (IWT) corridors in the future as well, like the RH2INE Kickstart IWT project, supported by the EHA, that will put 12 IWT vessels in the water by 2026 and that is included in the Dutch H2 IPCEI list of projects.

Denmark took action to decarbonise shipping, issuing the “Declaration on Zero Emission Shipping by 2050” on November 5, 2021  With the signatures of major shipping nations including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Norway as well as key players in the industry including Panama, the declaration focuses on immediate reductions for shipping to reach zero emissions by 2050. The Netherlands and Belgium surprisingly  did not sign the Declaration

The Declaration stresses that emissions from international shipping should peak immediately and undergo significant reductions in the coming years, in order to keep the Paris Agreement temperature goal (limit the increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels) within reach. Additionally, the 14 countries recognise the importance of international collaboration and investment in the production of zero-emission fuels and the related importance of creating green shipping corridors and infrastructure and other efforts to ensure a critical mass of zero-emission ships are on the water by 2030.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim welcomed the focus on shipping and the progress at COP26. The success at COP26 he said, would empower the IMO to pursue its initiatives for the shipping industry. However, the current IMO GHG strategy (50% emissions reduction by 2050) would fail to meet Paris Agreement targets

The signatories of the Clydbank Declaration on November 11, 2021 are to support the establishment of green shipping corridors – zero-emission maritime routes between 2 (or more) ports. The aim is to support the establishment of at least 6 green corridors by 2025, while aiming to scale activity up in the following years.

Signatories are to facilitate partnerships to establish green shipping corridors, in which:

  1. Two or more signatories to the Declaration identify and take steps with relevant willing ports, operator(s) and others along the value chain to decarbonise a specific shared maritime route
  2. A signatory to the Declaration takes steps with relevant willing ports, operator(s) and others along the value chain to decarbonise a specific domestic maritime route within the jurisdiction and control of a signatory.

Voluntary participation by operators is a significant element for successful green shipping corridors and vessels transiting a green corridor would not be required to be zero emissions or to participate in the partnerships.

In supporting the establishment of green corridors, signatories recognise that fully decarbonised fuels or propulsion technologies should have the capability to not add additional GHGs to the global system through their lifecycle, including production, transport or consumption.

Signatories: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark , Fiji , Finland, France, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan , Republic of the Marshall Islands, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, USA

Both initiaitves are complementing the Getting to Zero Coalition, a partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, the Friends of Ocean action, and the World Economic Forum. It brings together decision-makers from across the shipping value chain with key stakeholders from the energy sector as well as from governments and intergovernmental organisations. The work will be supported by knowledge partners such as the UCL Energy Institute, Environmental Defense Fund and the Energy Transitions Commission. Gard is one of the more than 150 companies that are current members of the Getting to Zero Coalition as are many of our members and clients.

Green Shipping Corridors

The ambition of the Getting to Zero Coalition is to have commercially viable zero-emissions vessels (ZEVs) operating along deep-sea trade routes by 2030. These will be supported by the necessary infrastructure for scalable net-zero carbon energy sources including production, distribution and bunkering and by 2045, to have 100 per cent of the ships using zero emission fuels.

The proposed green corridors are specific trade routes between major port hubs where zero-emissions solutions can be demonstrated and supported. The Next Wave Green Corridors report suggests that four critical building blocks need to be in place to establish a green corridor:

  1. Cross-value-chain collaboration: A green corridor requires stakeholders that are committed to decarbonisation and are willing to explore new forms of cross-value-chain collaboration to enable zero-emission shipping from both the demand and supply side.
  2. A viable fuel pathway: Availability of zero-emission fuels and a bunkering infrastructure to service zero-emission vessels are essential factors.
  3. Customer demand: Conditions need to be in place to mobilise demand for green shipping and to scale zero-emission shipping in the corridor.
  4. Policy and regulation: Policy incentives and regulations will be necessary to narrow the cost gap and expedite safety measures.

Feasibility studies have been done on two of the three suggested routes – The Australia-Japan iron ore route and the Asia-Europe container route. The third route – the Northeast Asia – US car carrier route is presented in the report as a case study. The report gives detailed analysis of the potential for various zero emission fuels for each of the routes including ammonia, methanol, hydrogen and synthetic diesel.

Photo: Yara International