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Multi-year program to decarbonise shipping completes first phase

Innovation and venture development firm Rainmaking has announced the completion of the first phase of a multi-year program nurturing startups working toward decarbonisation of shipping.

A second six-month cycle is set to commence in August 2020.

As the program progresses through end-2022, it will identify more than 3,000 tech startups around the world before narrowing down to a final shortlist of over 100 scalable pilot schemes and ventures.

Each will seek a solution to the issue of carbon emissions in the shipping industry, with the ultimate goal of achieving industry-wide CO2 neutral status.

During the first cycle of the program, Rainmaking identified 1,200 promising startups with a cumulative funding of $14bn based across 70 countries. Of these, 145 particularly impressive candidate companies were given full due diligence screening and a final group of 51 selected for kick-ff workshop participation.

Each startup has pitched their proposed decarbonisation solution, with those deemed most likely to succeed subsequently allocated partnerships with collaborating companies. The companies include Cargill, DNV GL, Hafnia, MC Shipping, Royal Dutch Shell, Vale and Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding.

“This is not merely an exercise – these initiatives represent real, working collaborations between a corporate partner and an innovative startup,” said Tarun Mehrotra, director trade and transport at Rainmaking.

“Efforts such as these are essential to decarbonising shipping within the next 10 years. Taking action within the coming decade will prove pivotal to halting climate change and ensuring the resiliency of supply chains during a crisis like the one we are presently experiencing,” he added.

Industry, regulators and customers alike are demanding that shipping evolve to become more eco-friendly and decarbonised. According to data from the IMO, maritime transport emits 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for approximately 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to curb climate change, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals outline a 45% reduction in carbon emissions within the next decade and net zero emissions by 2050. Effective action during the period leading to 2030 is essential, in order to reach this target and stem the damage caused by climate change.

The startups are addressing this issue and setting out to reduce shipping’s carbon emissions in a broad variety of ways. These include the development of new or alternative energy sources; augmented reality (AR) solutions; AI and data-enabled CO2 reduction; increasing energy efficiency; automation, infrastructure and business model innovation; greater transparency in tracking of CO2 provenance and quantities; carbon offsetting; and improved vessel design.

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