Maersk Line is calling for aid from industry peers and researchers to drive innovation so the world’s largest container line can reach complete carbon neutrality by 2050 and begin deploying commercially viable carbon neutral vessels by 2030.
“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,” Søren Toft, chief operating officer at A.P. Moller-Maersk, said in a statement.
Toft said over the past four years, Maersk has invested $1 billion and engaged more than 50 engineers each year in developing and deploying energy efficient solutions, but “going forward we cannot do this alone.” By setting the ambitious 2050 carbon neutral target, Maersk aims to pull the industry away from fossil fuel–based development and foster co-development and sponsorship of sustainable solutions that have yet to be seen in the maritime industry.
Industry dialogue set for 2019
In 2019, Maersk is planning to initiate “open and collaborative dialogue” across the industry to help tackle climate change. Given the 20-25-year lifetime of a vessel, Toft said it was time to join forces and start developing a new type of vessel that will be crossing the seas in 2050.
“The next five to 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 decarbonized solutions,” he said.
In the meantime, the container shipping industry is working to meet the International Maritime Organization’s low-sulfur mandate, to reduce sulfur emissions from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent, starting Jan. 1, 2020. Various industry estimates put the additional annual cost range of meeting the rule between $13 billion and $15.7 billion.