Amazon’s new carbon-free pledge focuses on the ocean

Amazon and IKEA are among the largest companies pushing maritime shipping industries towards zero-carbon fuel sources for ships by 2040.

According to the Clean Air Task Force, shipping accounts for 1 billion tonnes of carbon per year, which worked with the Aspen Institute on a plan to accelerate the development of a zero-carbon shipping market among the world’s largest cargo ship owners. Other consumer-focused companies such as Patagonia, Brooks Running, Inditex, Michelin, Unilever, Tchibo and Frog Bikes were also affected by Tuesday’s announcement. The announcement did not apply to freight companies.

In 2018, the International Maritime Organization established an initial carbon reduction target from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008.

In accordance with Clean Air Task Force StudyFor IMO to achieve its goals, most of the international shipping fleet would have to switch to zero-carbon fuels. CATF identified ammonia as the most likely option for marine fuel, although it noted that ammonia is about 3-7 times more expensive than conventional marine fuel.

His research also suggests that liquefied natural gas is a transitional – but only transitional fuel – and small-scale nuclear installations on board ships as a little-studied option for the future. It has been estimated that ships could switch to LNG to reduce their carbon emissions by 15%, but this figure will depend on reducing methane emissions “well below current levels”.

“To combat the climate crisis, we must quickly decarbonize maritime shipping,” said Jonathon Lewis, director of transport decarbonization for CATF in a statement announcing the consortium of traders.

CATF said in its study that US shipping is responsible for 80 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, a growing figure, and that for the US shipping fleet to meet the IMO 2050 deadline, the use of marine ammonia must reach 47 million tonnes. tons.

CATF offers the production of marine ammonia from renewable energy sources (called green ammonia), nuclear power, or carbon capture and storage operations in industries including fossil fuels (called blue ammonia). But he noted that there is still a long way to go to “make marine ammonia a reality.”

Current ammonia production has a carbon footprint, mainly from the fertilizer industry.

This March, several large cargo companies including Maersk, Fleet Management Limited, Keppel Offshore & Marine, Sumitomo Corporation and Yara International started green ammonia research supply chain in the port of Singapore.

“With zero CO2 emissions on combustion, ammonia has long been considered one of the most promising alternative marine fuels for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the shipping industry,” the group said in a statement.

“It is not yet clear what measures could lead to the emission reductions envisioned by the IMO (much less reductions consistent with the Paris Agreement), but it is unlikely that this will be done only at the expense of technology,” says the CATF report. for decarburization of transport. It said: “The transition to ammonia will require intense, globally coordinated efforts.”

IMO itself implemented a mandatory system for collecting fuel oil consumption data on ships in March 2018, and by 2025 has set a target for new shipbuildings to be 30% more energy efficient than those built in 2014, in line with its plan to reduce greenhouse emissions. gases.

Over the past few years, Amazon has strengthened its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint while taking greater control over its massive logistics operations. In 2019, Amazon unveiled for the first time its pledge to meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets through the use of renewable energies and new transportation technologies such as electric vehicles, 10 years earlier than planned in Paris.

Among his most notable investments in carbon-free transportation is electric car maker Rivian, which has raised billions from venture capitalists including Amazon. The retail giant plans to buy 100,000 electric vehicles from Rivian, and by 2020 Amazon said it has already delivered more than 20 million packages using electric vehicles. The retail giant launched its custom electric vehicles earlier this year and says it will have 10,000 vehicles by 2022.

Amazon’s own logistics services have grown in recent years and include direct competition with third-party shipping providers. Amazon is projected to acquire 200 aircraft for its cargo operations by 2028.

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