Shipping costs may have to rise on route to net zero

Shipping could have to face increased transport costs as part of the efforts to decarbonise the sector, according to the Chair of the UK’s Energy Transitions Commission (ETC).

Lord Turner was speaking at the International Chamber of Shipping conference on September 11, where he said technology and zero-carbon fuels could enable shipping to become zero-carbon by 2050 but would see freight costs double. Turner called on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and shipping industry to embrace the idea of a 100% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. At present, the IMO has a 50% target. Turner said: “[…] the IMO is capable of setting regulations for the design of new ships, how energy efficient they have to be, and eventually of what the cost of fuel should be, or whether the fuel has to be from zero carbon sources.”

Turner also told delegates that more investment in research into energy efficient shipping and marine engines capable of burning alternative fuels was needed, while calling for either a new form of carbon pricing or regulation of fuel mandate that “forces all the shipping companies together to move forward toward forms of zero carbon fuel”.

Freight Waves