Industry leaders explore global energy transition at 4th annual ABS Sustainability Summit


“There is a significant amount of work to be done between now and 2050 if we hope to hit net zero on carbon emissions but our research shows it can be done and maps out a pathway for the industry to get there,” said ABS Chairman and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki in his address to the fourth annual ABS Sustainability Summit (pictured) held during London International Shipping Week.

The ABS chief was referring to the publication ahead of the summit of the class society’s annual Outlook report on the decarbonisation landscape entitled ‘Beyond the Horizon: View of the Emerging Value Chains’, which he described as connecting “the macro industry calculus for net zero by 2050 with the micro calculus reality of what is required at the ship level.”

The Outlook report examines in depth the carbon, ammonia and hydrogen value chains, concluding that the industry will need to accelerate investment in carbon capture technology, energy efficiency technologies and new fuels to reach net zero by the target date set by the IMO of 2050.

“Simply put, for shipping’s CO2 emissions to reach net-zero, we will need to harness the potential of energy efficiency improvement technologies to reduce aggregate fuel consumption by 15 percent on the existing fleet and newbuild vessels,” Wiernicki explained. “At the same time, we will need carbon capture rolled out across much of the oil burning fleet, reducing onboard CO2 emissions by 70 percent. Those that do not or cannot adopt carbon capture will need to switch to e-diesel or zero-carbon biofuels.”

“It is clear that the maritime industry is more than a spectator in the global green energy revolution,’ he added. “Instead, it serves as a critical facilitator and enabler. The transportation of carbon, ammonia and hydrogen as cargo highlights the industry’s significance in bridging the global energy landscape’s gaps between production, storage and consumption. Our industry will have a pivotal role in delivering a more sustainable future for everyone.”

The summit also heard from Emanuele Grimaldi, President and Managing Director of Grimaldi Euromed SPA and Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), who delivered the keynote address, as well as from Eamonn Beirne, Deputy Director, UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) at the Department for Transport (DfT). A panel discussion comprised representatives from the World Bank, World Economic Forum, Oldendorff Carriers, and MSC Group.