By Priti Naik
The greenhouse gas emission in shipping industry rose to 4.9% in 2021, higher than 2020 and 2019. According to Simpson Spence & Young’s annual industry report, the report of shipping emissions came in at 833 million metric tons of carbon in 2021, compared with 794 million metric tons in 2020 and 800 million metric tons in 2019.
Despite growing climate ambitions and efforts to reduce emissions in the maritime industry, there was a considerate rise in emission. Meanwhile, the shippers are experimenting with alternative fuels and striving to comply with increasingly stringent emissions regulations and pricing. But the industry saw massive increases in demand for consumer goods after the initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
It called the increase in emissions an “inconvenient truth” for the International Maritime Organization, which has aimed for a carbon intensity reduction of 40% by 2030. The IMO’s current 2050 target is set at a 50% reduction in maritime emissions compared to 2008 GHG emissions. The organization has yet to set a net-zero emissions target by 2050.
The COP26 climate conference in November set the stage for rapid climate action in several sectors, including shipping. More than 20 nations signed on to the Clydebank Declaration to establish six green shipping corridors by 2025.
In addition to COP26 and the potential for green shipping corridors, countless nations, organizations, campaigns and companies have set sustainability and emission-reduction targets. They vary in terms of time frame and favored solutions.
There are experts and environmentalists who say that some sustainability goals are not ambitious, specific or fast enough to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and adhere to the Paris agreement.