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The UN just set a net-zero goal for shipping. Here’s how that could work

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece here in MIT Technology Review or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: On July 7, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a UN group, set a net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions target for global shipping by or around 2050
• Emissions should be at least 20% below 2008 levels by 2030 and at least 70% lower by 2040
The deal also says that low-emission energy sources should make up at least 5% of energy used in shipping by 2030

🔭 The context: With the shipping industry accounting for approximately 3% of the world’s total emissions, this decision marks a significant shift for an industry deemed difficult to decarbonize 
• While some view these targets as challenging, experts believe the sector could attain these objectives by slowing down ships and exploring alternative emission-reducing technologies and fuels

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: The reduction of emissions in the shipping industry is crucial to global climate change mitigation efforts
• The longer-term milestones could prove harder to achieve and may necessitate the use of low- and zero-emissions fuels like green hydrogen, methanol, and ammonia

⏭️ What's next: The IMO plans to enforce new measures, such as a gradual reduction of allowable emissions from fuels and some form of economic measures that could price greenhouse-gas emissions
• However, resistance from several nations to these proposals could make negotiations challenging

💬 One quote: "I don’t think it’s necessarily technically difficult to clean up or decarbonize the sector—just more politically challenging." (Bryan Comer, Head of the Maritime Program at International Council on Clean Transportation) 

📈 One stat: By combining slower speeds, wind assistance, and low-emissions fuels, the shipping industry could cut emissions nearly 50% by the end of the decade, according to a study by CE Delft

Click for more news covering the latest on Net Zero

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