New study by OGCI and Concawe identifies pathways for shipping to reach climate targets
February 1st, 2022
A study by OGCI and Concawe has found that significant change is needed in the shipping industry if the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) climate goals are to be achieved. The study, ‘Technological, Operational and Energy Pathways for Maritime Transport to Reduce Emissions Towards 2050’, calls for a large-scale deployment of new technologies and/or alternative low-carbon fuels across international shipping to help achieve the IMO’s target of reducing total greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050 relative to 2008 levels.
Based on literature review and stakeholder interviews, the study offers three possible decarbonization pathways to meet the IMO goal. These use different combinations of new technologies and alternative fuels and are calculated on a well-to-wake basis, meaning they take into account all emissions from fuel production to the fuel consumption needed to operate a ship.
The first, early pursuit of zero carbon fuels, focusses on the use of ammonia and hydrogen as a fuel for new-build vessels, culminating in every new vessel using these low-carbon fuels by 2035. In this scenario there is medium take-up of energy efficiency technologies and measures.
The second pathway, moderate uptake of interim and drop-in fuels, calls for heavy fuel oil, marine diesel oil and liquefied natural gas use to be substituted with drop-in biofuels from 2025. In this pathway there is also medium level take-up of energy efficiency technology and measures.
The third and final pathway, Initial maximization of vessel decarbonization measures, focuses on maximizing technology use with subsequent transition to alternative fuels. Under this scenario there is a high take-up of energy efficiency technologies and operational measures. This is accompanied by carbon capture onboard vessels and the gradual increase of ammonia and methanol fuel on new-build vessels by 2035.
The impact on the future fleet, operations, greenhouse gas emissions and costs is assessed for each scenario and likely barriers identified.