The Importance of Sustainable Fuels for Achieving Net-Zero Emissions in Shipping by 2050

In a report, Wärtsilä predicts that sustainable fuels for shipping will double in cost by 2030 due to emissions policies like inclusion in the EU Emissions Trading System. Without action, global shipping emissions could increase by 45% by mid-century. Sustainable fuels are crucial for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
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A report by Helsinki-based company Wärtsilä highlights the importance of sustainable fuels in achieving net-zero emissions in the shipping industry by 2050. The report emphasizes the need for decisive emissions policies, such as inclusion in the EU Emissions Trading System and FuelEU Maritime, to double the cost of marine fossil fuels by 2030. Without action, global emissions from shipping, currently at 2%, could increase by 45% by mid-century.

The International Maritime Organization’s target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 could reduce 27% of emissions through decarbonization strategies, but sustainable fuels will be essential in eliminating the remaining 73%. The report stresses the need for radical action to scale up sustainable fuels, as shipowners face uncertainty and suppliers require clear demand signals to invest in new fuel infrastructure.

Wärtsilä recommends policymakers maximize certainty by setting science-based pathways for phasing out fossil fuels, adopt a global industry standard for carbon pricing, and increase global collaboration on innovation and infrastructure for sustainable fuels. The company also emphasizes the role of smaller operators in accelerating towards net-zero emissions through improving fuel efficiency and investing in fuel flexibility. Swift action is necessary to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions in shipping by 2050.

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