Innovation and Clean Energy for International Aviation and Shipping
COP28 Session Recap
How can the world develop and deploy cleaner energy for shipping and aviation?
Caption: The signing of the cooperation agreement between DP World and IRENA
That was the focus of this COP28 side-event on 2 December, led by two United Nations agencies: the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – alongside the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
IRENA said green hydrogen was critical to the decarbonisation of long-haul shipping and aviation. However, there were physical, technical and economic constraints to its use. For example, by 2050, the amount of electricity needed just for hydrogen production will be more than the world’s current entire electricity consumption today.
Energy efficiency improvements, the electrification of ports and airports and the use of biofuels can bring immediate emission reductions, IRENA said.
The IMO aims to reach at least a 40% reduction in the carbon intensity of shipping by 2030, compared to 2008. The larger part of this reduction would come from the use of alternative fuels such as biofuels, e-methanol, e-ammonia and hydrogen.
The 2023 IMO Greenhouse Gas Strategy, which the agency’s 175 member states adopted unanimously in July, provides a global policy framework for the sector, which represents 3% of global emissions. The strategy envisages that 10% of the energy used in shipping will come from net-zero or zero-emission fuels by 2030.
Nelson Mojarro of the International Chamber of Shipping said the shipping industry had an important dual role to play in transporting sustainable fuels for other sectors.
Shipping has done transitions in the past, he added, from wind to coal and combustion engine. Alongside alternative fuels, the industry is looking at direct and indirect electrification. Producing enough green hydrogen for the shipping sector alone would involve doubling the world’s current renewable energy production.
“These projects have to be strategically located close to a port to be of use to the maritime sector,” Mojarro added.
The IMO and member states would play a key role in facilitating economic measures to help reduce the cost gap between premium green fuels and the industry’s current fuel.
In November, DP World signed a cooperating agreement with IRENA to accelerate the use of renewables, decarbonise ports and cut emissions for the maritime and logistics sectors. The business is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2040 and net-zero carbon by 2050.
The IRENA partnership builds on our pledge to invest up to $500 million to cut CO2 emissions by nearly 700,000 tonnes over the next five years, which we made by joining the Green Shipping Challenge at COP27 last year.