Reducing emissions in the maritime industry
More than 90 percent of global trade takes place on the sea. Maritime transport accounts for some 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Left unchecked, these emissions could increase 50 to 250 percent by 2050, according to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The sector today relies heavily on heavy fuel oil, which produces sulphur dioxide emissions when burned, degrading air quality in ports, contributing to acid rain, and threatening the health of the oceans and the life they support.
Alternative fuels and a range of technical and operational measures can go some way to reducing emissions. Meeting the IMO’s target to at least halve annual GHG emissions from international shipping by 2050 will, however, also require us to tackle a range of inefficiencies in the system of maritime trade. Even factors from port logistics to standard contractual arrangements among cargo owners, ship owners and ports contribute to higher emissions. A patchwork of governance and poor data sharing among industry, governments and other entities further frustrates efforts to tackle maritime emissions.
The challenge: How might we leverage new technologies as well as better data-sharing to increase efficiencies and reduce emissions in the maritime industry?