IEA: Shipping won’t reach net zero by 2050


The shipping sector will fail to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (NZE) emissions by 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says in a report.

The shipping sector is expected to miss its net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions target “due to the lack of available low-carbon options on the market and the long lifespan of ships (typically 25 to 35 years),” the IEA says in a report released Tuesday.

This comes despite a growing stream of pledges and commitments from policymakers and industry stakeholders to achieve zero emissions by 2050 in the global shipping industry.

The IEA now expects emissions from the shipping industry, which was responsible for some 880 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2019 and 830 million tons in the following year, to fall by 6% annually to 120 million tons of CO2 in 2050.

Around 90% of world trade is transported by sea, and the UN maritime agency – the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – aims to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.

In the short term, significant emission reductions in shipping are possible through operational efficiencies such as reduced voyage speeds and wind assistance, while in the medium term low-carbon fuels such as biofuels, hydrogen and ammonia will play an important role, according to the IEA.

“Ammonia and hydrogen are the main low-carbon shipping fuels to be adopted over the next three decades in NZE, their combined share of total shipping energy consumption will reach around 60% by 2050,” the IEA said.

Biofuels are expected to provide almost 20% of total shipping energy needs in 2050, while electrification will play a “very minor role,” it said.

Source Reuters
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