Maersk innovation surge to eliminate emissions

Maersk will aim to develop carbon-neutral vessels by 2030 (credit: Maersk) Maersk will aim to develop carbon-neutral vessels by 2030 (credit: Maersk)

AP Moller-Maersk has pledged to make carbon-neutral vessels commercially viable by 2030 as it aims to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

The company is set to invest considerably in decarbonisation, arguing that efficiency improvements to current fossil-based technology can only keep shipping emissions at current levels, not reduce them significantly or eliminate them.

“The only possible way to achieve the much-needed decarbonisation in our industry is by fully transforming to new carbon-neutral fuels and supply chains,” said Søren Toft, COO, AP Moller-Maersk. “The next 5-10 years are going to be crucial. We will invest significant resources for innovation and fleet technology to improve the technical and financial viability of decarbonised solutions.”

From 2019 Maersk plans to hold collaborative discussions to “generate a pull towards researchers, technology developers, investors, cargo owners and legislators that will activate strong industry involvement, co-development, and sponsorship of sustainable solutions”.

“Over the last four years, we have invested around US$1 billion and engaged more than 50 engineers each year in developing and deploying energy efficient solutions,” said Toft. “Going forward we cannot do this alone.”

Maersk noted that its relative CO2 emissions have been reduced by 46% since 2007, around 9% better than the industry average. Given the 20-25 year lifetime of a vessel, it said that it was now time to join forces and start developing the vessels that will be crossing the seas in 2050.

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