The report, Low Carbon Pathways 2050, underlines the need for shipping to start its decarbonisation imminently – as stringency increases over time, increasingly high-cost mitigation steps are required. Global shipping currently accounts for 2.33% of global CO2 emissions.
The IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is expected to discuss a number of important subjects on emissions at the upcoming MEPC70 meeting from 24-28 October.
Low Carbon Pathways 2050, presented by Katharine Palmer, LR’s environment and sustainability manager, and Carlo Raucci of the Shipping in Changing Climates project, aims to contribute towards these discussions by providing understanding on the potential pathways to the decarbonisation of the global shipping industry.
The report also gives particular focus on the technological and operational specifications of the global fleet and how these may change in relation to a given rate of decarbonisation.
The Low Carbon Pathways 2050 identifies three future scenarios for the period 2015-2050. The first, High Hydrogen, considers the availability of hydrogen, which is used in fuel cell technology, to demonstrate what can be achieved through technology and innovation.
The second, High Bio, assumes a mid-range market penetration of biofuels in the shipping industry, and the third, High offsetting, considers the impact of a market-based mechanism.
These three future scenarios are compared to a business-as-usual scenario with existing regulatory commitments.
Palmer commented: “There are many issues to debate as the industry tries to consider what the strategy might be for handling the simultaneously inevitable and uncertain changes ahead. What is clear is that any future regulation needs to provide the right incentive to drive the change needed and we hope that business strategies and consistent policies can be combined to reduce shipping emissions.”