Energy transition will be difficult, shipbroker Gibson says
The recent COP26 summit ended with sweeping pledges to address the threat of climate change, but it may be “extremely challenging” to move completely away from fossil fuels, shipbroker Gibson said November 19.
Nearly 200 delegates agreed to “phase down” coal-fired power and “phase out” inefficient fuel subsidies during the climate summit in Glasgow. Several major economies also made pledges to reduce methane emissions, with the US government outlining specific abatement measures for the oil and gas industry.
Trillions of dollars, meanwhile, were offered to facilitate the energy transition.
“Yet, several observers note that these agreements are largely voluntary, whilst the announced amount is the asset base of participating institutions and not the funds that will flow towards climate targets,” Gibson reported.
For shippers, Gibson noted that 22 governments made declarations to establish six green shipping corridors by 2025, but the shipbroker was somewhat pessimistic about those developments as well. Those declarations are vague and do nothing to prohibit voyages for “non-zero emission” vessels.
“While progress clearly has been made, the COP26 summit also illustrated that the governments are finding it extremely challenging to plan a world beyond fossil fuels,” Gibson added.
Shippers, however, are already obligated to lower their environmental footprint through protocols established by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), dubbed IMO 2020. Shippers under the protocol need to install onboard exhaust cleaning systems known as scrubbers or use lower-polluting fuels like ultra-low sulphur fuel oil or LNG.
IMO in London kicked off a gathering of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on November 22 to review the maritime shipping industries low-carbon objectives.