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Danish Shipping Wants to Take the Lead on Decarbonization

danish shipping
Crewmembers run up the Danish flag (file image courtesy Danish Shipping)

Published Jan 11, 2022 10:17 PM by The Maritime Executive

Danish Shipping, the industry association for Denmark's shipowners, has released a new decarbonization strategy aimed at putting its members in the lead for the maritime sector's energy transition. 

In concrete terms, the proposal aims to see Danish shipping (including heavyweights like Maersk and Torm) achieve climate-neutral operations by 2050 without use of compensation. To start that journey, the association calls for zero-emissions fuel capability in at least five percent of the Danish-operated fleet by 2030. Beyond that date, all newbuildings ordered by Danish shipowners from 2030 onwards are to be designed to run on net zero-emission fuels (or other zero-emissions propulsion).

The association itself will work towards its goals by advocating for "timely and ambitious" global regulatory action. To date, IMO's member states have not taken full-scale measures towards decarbonization, even deciding against an industry-sponsored R&D bunker fee of $2 per tonne. Danish Shipping pledged to nudge shipping's international governing body towards action, supporting the inclusion of ambitious reduction targets in the final IMO GHG strategy in 2023. The targets should "be founded on science and be in line with the Paris Agreement," a higher level of ambition than IMO's current goal, Danish Shipping said. 

At the national level, it will "ensure order in its own house" by strengthening the emissions reporting from its own members. Regionally, it will work to influence the EU "Fit for 55" regulatory package, which could also help move its mission forward at IMO. 

"Denmark is a huge maritime nation and we therefore have an obligation to use our size to play a positive and ambitious role in the green transition of global shipping. The new strategy ‘Towards Zero’ therefore aims to accelerate the transition of shipping to becoming emission-free. Together with the government, we can show the way - not only in Denmark but globally," said Jacob Meldgaard, CEO of Torm and Chairman of Danish Shipping.