New 2040 Zero Carbon Shipping Target Excludes Offsets

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday October 21, 2021

The new 2040 zero-carbon shipping pledge signed by major users of the industry including Amazon and IKEA this week does not envisage the use of offsets, according to its organisers.

On Wednesday nine major users of shipping announced they had joined the Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels group set up by US-based NGO the Aspen Institute. The group aims by 2040 "to only purchase ocean freight services powered by scalable zero-carbon fuels, a timeframe that is squarely aligned with a Paris Agreement 1.5°C trajectory."

The group has already set out how the goal excludes the use of LNG-fuelled shipping. But the pledge also does not envisage a role for carbon offsetting -- currently an increasingly popular early route to decarbonisation -- according to the Aspen Institute.

"This commitment is intentionally not framed as "net zero" because these climate leading companies want -- and are confident we can scale up -- solutions that are truly zero-GHG, or very close to zero, from a lifecycle perspective," Ingrid Irigoyen, director of the Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative, told Ship & Bunker by email on Wednesday.

"In other words, if we are smart, strategic, and work collaboratively across the value chain to support the right fuels and technologies, these emissions will become avoidable, so out-of-sector offsetting need not be on the table."