The 175 member states of the UN’s International Maritime Organization have adopted more ambitious targets to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
They have agreed to reach net zero “by or around” 2050 and also agreed to “indicative checkpoints” to monitor the reduction of emissions by 2030 and 2040. Emissions from shipping account for 3% of global emissions.
“Although this is progress given where the industry was just a few years back, the imprecise wording and lack of detail on the measures increases uncertainty,” according to Peter Jameson, Managing Director and Partner at BCG and global topic lead for Maritime Sustainability.
“The committee also falls short of creating clarity on the much-needed financial incentives, such as market-based measures like a carbon levy. The absence of these measures undermines the industry’s ability to transition to sustainable practices.”
Laurids Schack, Project Leader in BCG and shipping decarbonization specialist, adds: “The vagueness maintains ambiguity and will undoubtedly cause delays in action. Progress towards decarbonization will not accelerate as needed, as industry players wait for the next major agreement in Spring 2024.”
Nevertheless, a recent survey of 128 shipowners and operators by BCG and the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation found the industry has high ambitions and many players are looking to increase green investments and develop sustainability roadmaps.
“That means it is even more essential for industry players to press ahead with their own roadmap for sustainability despite the uncertainty,” Jameson says.
According to Jameson: