Nov. 7 (BP) — The U.S. and Norwegian governments on Monday unveiled a global call from the U.N. environment summit in Egypt to the maritime shipping industry to clean up its act.
A U.N.-backed protocol dubbed IMO 2020 obligates maritime shippers to use cleaner fuels such as liquefied natural gas, methanol and ultra-clean fuel oils or have an exhaust cleaning device called a scrubber on board as part of a coordinated effort to cut emissions from the sector.
From the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheik, the U.S. and Norwegian governments said they’re upping the ante with a green shipping challenge unveiled during the opening day of the COP27 summit on the environment.
“Greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector are significant, increasing, and on a trajectory that is not compatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” they said.
In the United States, the operators at the Port of Seattle are already working to establish a hub for clean maritime fuels, most notably for hydrogen. The port, meanwhile, could be the eventual home to an electrified offshore fleet.
From the sidelines of COP27, the U.S. government said it signed bilateral agreements with South Korea, Canada and the United Kingdom on green shipping corridors.
Norway, for its part, is working on developing ammonia as a fuel source for the shipping industry. The goal is to have four pilot projects established by next year and have three ammonia-powered vessels in service by 2026.
Organizers estimate that if the global shipping industry were a country, it would be the eighth-largest polluter in the world.
The announcement on green shipping was made by Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store and U.S. climate envoy John Kerry. Norway is unique in that, like the United States, it’s a major crude oil and natural gas producer, though it powers nearly all of its economy on renewable energy resources.
The country’s prime minister recently upped commitments on emissions by 5% to cut to 55% by 2030.
“This sends a strong signal to other countries, and we hope that more countries will enhance their targets as well,” Store said.