Aimed at accelerating the transition to carbon neutral shipping, Maersk announced its goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. In order to achieve this, carbon neutral vessels must be commercially viable by 2030 and an acceleration in new innovations and adaption of new technology is required.
Climate is an important issue to the world and carries around 80 percent of global trade, making it crucial the shipping industry is vital to finding solutions. By now, Maersk's relative CO2 emissions have been reduced by 46 percent (baseline 2007) approx. 9 percent more than the industry average.
As world trade and shipping volumes grow, efficiency improvements on current fossil based technology can only keep shipping emissions at current levels, but not reduce them significantly or eliminate them.
“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,” says Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer at A.P. Moller - Maersk.
The company 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 max 2 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 8,800 km. With short battery durability and no charging points along the route, innovate developments are imperative.
“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 $1 billion and engaged 50 plus engineers each year in developing and deploying energy efficient solutions. Going forward we cannot do this alone” Søren Toft continues.
Research & Development 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 that we are yet to see in the maritime industry.
Starting next year, Maersk is planning to initiate open and collaborative dialogue with all possible parties to tackle together one of the most important issues in the world: climate change.