Shipping industry commits to zero-emission vessels

A coalition of 60 international corporations and shipping firms has committed to developing vessels which operate on zero emissions by 2030. 

The “Getting to Zero Coalition” supports the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) strategy to reduce annual greenhouse gases (GHG) in shipping by 50% by 2050. It aims to accelerate these efforts to decarbonise the industry by creating sustainable vessels and a future fuel supply chain.  

The coalition is made up of shipping companies, charterers, banks, ports, and insurers and includes Citi, Cargill, Lloyd’s Register, Maersk, Shell, Trafigura and Euronav.

The coalition said in a statement: “The ambition of the Getting to Zero Coalition is to have commercially viable zero-emissions vessels operating along deep-sea trade routes by 2030, supported by the necessary infrastructure for scalable zero-carbon energy sources including production, distribution, storage and bunkering.”

The coalition was announced today at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.

Separately, a study has revealed that over a third (78) of the world’s 200 largest companies do not disclose GHG emissions.

Over half (53%) of the 2,900 companies assessed were found to be on track to meet the Paris Agreement limit of a 1.5C temperature rise by 2030. But “only a fifth of companies (20%) are expected to remain on this pathway by 2050 without taking drastic steps to reduce GHG output.”

Andreas Feiner, CEO at Arabesque S-Ray, said that the study aimed to increase transparency and accuracy around emissions reporting by highlighting companies taking action. He said “too many companies still do not publicly report their emissions”.

Meanwhile, a report by sustainability network The World Green Building Council has called for action by the building and construction sector to tackle carbon emissions. 

The report recommends that by 2030 all new buildings, infrastructure and renovations should have at least 40% less carbon emissions from the construction phase, including manufacture, transport and construction of building materials, and that new buildings should have net zero operating emissions. It said by 2050 all emissions should be reduced to net zero.

Separately, Budweiser Brewing Group UK & Ireland has announced it will eliminate plastic ring packaging on beer cans across the UK by the end of 2020, including brands Stella Artois and Bud Light. A £6.3m fund will create alternative sustainable packaging such as recyclable paperboard. It is estimated the move will cut a total of 850 tonnes of plastic each year. 

Meanwhile, the UK government has announced an International Biodiversity Fund of £220m to save endangered animals from extinction, such as the black rhino, African elephant and Sumatran tiger, and protect natural habitats worldwide. 

The fund will support biodiversity projects such as the UK Darwin initiative, strengthen law enforcement, tackle illegally traded products, help local communities worldwide protect animals and habitats, and restore damaged rainforests.  

A £40m fund will be used to protect forests and habitats by preventing illegal deforestation in areas such as Ghana, Liberia, Indonesia, Cameroon and teaching more environmentally-friendly ways to farm in developing countries.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York today, prime minister Boris Johnson called for “greater global action” to stop further loss of habitats and wildlife and mitigate climate change by finding solutions in nature, such as reforestation.

And the number of companies committing to halve food waste has increased to 156 under the UK government Food Reduction Roadmap. Some 121 companies have provided evidence of reducing food waste, showing “an average 7% reduction, and a combined saving of around 53,000 tonnes of food valued at over £85m”.

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