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Norway seeking zero emissions from shipping

While the IMO's target of a 50% cut in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping by 2050 is seen as “ambitious” Norway is seeking zero emission shipping.

Norway convened a high level panel on Tuesday at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in a move to kickstart collaboration on zero emission trade and transport.

Going well beyond the IMO's 50% reduction ahead of the summit Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen said: “Zero emission shipping is possible and Norway has started the introduction of zero emission technologies in parts of domestic shipping. I encourage development of national spearhead policies for the introduction of low- and zero emission technologies all around the world.”

Speaking at the opening of the event the Norwegian Minister stated: “It is possible, it is necessary, and it has to happen as soon as possible.”

Zero emmissions in shipping would be achieved through the use of battery technology and hydrogen.

Read more: Revolution needed in marine propulsion to meet IMO's 50% greenhouse gas reduction target

“Hydrogen is our next chapter in zero emission fuels and technologies. By 2021 we expect to have a car ferry with hydrogen electric propulsion, minimum 50% hydrogen, Elvestuen said.

“We need to develop rules and regulations for the maritime use of hydrogen.”

He also noted that the investment timeline and lifetime of ship meant that action needed to be taken now.

"The 25 year lifetime of a ship … illustrates that every single investment decision taken today will have implications for the future of the environment. This is a powerful reminder of where we find ourselves today. We have a decisive window of opportunity in our response to the climate change challenge."

Read more: Shipping investments, sulphur and GHG emissions, and 'power to x'

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