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ICS Joins Forces With IRENA on Decarbonization

biofuel bunkering
Advanced biofuels - like those in use aboard this tanker - are among the alternative energy sources considered in IRENA's forecast (File image courtesy Stena)

Published Jan 17, 2022 10:29 PM by The Maritime Executive

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has signed a working agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on decarbonization of the shipping industry and a transition to renewable marine fuels. 

The two-year partnership provides ICS and IRENA with a framework to collaborate on the decarbonisation of the shipping sector and the use of renewable technologies in the maritime industry. It also gives ICS a new means of accessing IRENA's 167 member nations and territories.

“Shipping accounts for nearly three percent of global CO2 emissions, and our decarbonization journey is a massive challenge. We need to reduce our reliance on carbon-intensive fuels to power ships, not least because in years to come the global fleet will need to ship zero carbon fuels to countries around the world," said ICS secretary-general Guy Platten. "It is vital that the shipping sector continues to get closer to producers and consumers to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels, and is a key part of the solution - not a blocker - to the zero-emission transition.”

The two organizations will regularly exchange information on shipping sector energy supply and demand, and they will exchange data on scenarios for future fuels like green hydrogen and ammonia. According to IRENA's calculations, shipping could cut its emissions by 80 percent by 2050 by switching to hydrogen, ammonia, biofuels and electrification from renewable sources. 

"The shipping sector requires significant levels of investment and cooperation to ensure it contributes positively to the global climate agenda. To solve these challenges, we must continue with efforts to build a grand net zero coalition, bringing industry and the policy community together. This agreement is another positive step in that direction," said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera.