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Maersk sets vision for zero carbon emission by 2050

Maersk has set out a vision to achieve zero carbon dioxide emission by 2050, with an intermediate goal of having carbon neutral vessels commercially viable by 2030.

In order to reach the goal, Maersk believes that an acceleration in new innovations, adaption of new technology and strong industry involvement are required.

“The only possible way to achieve the so-much-needed decarbonisation in our industry is by fully transforming to new carbon neutral fuels and supply chains,” said Soren Toft, coo at AP Moller-Maersk.

As world trade and thereby shipping volumes continue to grow, efficiency improvements on the current fossil based technology can only keep shipping emissions at current levels but not reduce them significantly eliminate them, according to Maersk.

Today, Maersk’s relative CO2 emissions have reduced by 46% (baseline 2007), or approximately 9% more than the industry average.
Maersk said it is putting its efforts towards solving problems specific to maritime transport, as it calls for different solutions than automotive, rail and aviation. The yet-to-come electric truck is expected to be able to carry a maximum of two teu and is projected to run 800km per charging. In comparison, a container vessel carrying thousands of teu sailing from Panama to Rotterdam makes around 8,800km. With short battery durability and no charging points along the route, innovative developments are imperative.

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Given the 20-25-year life time of a vessel, Maersk believes it is now time to join forces and start developing the new type of vessels that will be crossing the seas in 2050.

“The next 5-10 years are going to be crucial. We will invest significant resources for innovation and fleet technology to improve the technical and financial viability of decarbonised solutions. Over the last four years, we have invested around $1bn and engaged 50 plus engineers each year in developing and deploying energy efficient solutions. Going forward we cannot do this alone,” Toft said.

Research and development (R&D) is key to take the industry away from today’s fossil based technology and by setting this ambitious target, Maersk hopes to generate a pull towards researchers, technology developers, investors, cargo owners and legislators that will activate strong industry involvement, co-development, and sponsorship of sustainable solutions for the maritime industry.

In 2019, Maersk is planning to initiate open and collaborative dialogue with all possible parties to jointly tackle the issue of climate change.

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