Climate-neutral maritime shipping requires technological revolution

Worldwide agreement commits maritime shipping to strict climate protection

Following difficult negotiations, within the scope of a meeting of the International Mari-time Organization in London, the community of states of the United Nations approved a global regulation for climate protection for maritime shipping. According to the agreement, maritime shipping is at least to halve its global CO2 emissions by the year 2050. All ships are to be climate-neutral and discharge zero CO2 no later than the end of the century.

“The resolution adopted by IMO is a significant historic step. Maritime transportation will be the first industry sector worldwide with specific and far-reaching parameters for climate protection. The German shipowners fundamentally endorse the objective of operating their vessels in a climate-neutral manner as soon as possible," said Alfred Hartmann, President of the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR).

The states have additionally approved interim targets, in terms of which ships are to reduce their CO2 emissions in relation to transport performance by at least 40% by the year 2030. By the year 2050, a reduction by 70% is to be reached, if possible.

“The specific steps adopted by the IMO are very ambitious. Maritime shipping and the community of states are facing the challenge to reduce CO2 emissions without restricting the essential maritime trade at the same time. We need an innovation offensive in research and development, especially with regard to alternative fuels and propulsion systems. Governments worldwide must cooperate with this industry sector and make financial resources available for this technological revolution,” said Hartmann.

By accepting the climate protection strategy, the IMO continues its successful work for decades for the protection of the marine environment and the climate. The IMO had already laid down binding efficiency parameters for CO2-friendly ship newbuilds as early as 2013, including climate protection parameters for the operation of maritime vessels.


About the German Shipowners’ Association
The German Shipowners’ Association (Verband Deutscher Reeder, VDR) is responsible for representing the common business and social policy interests of German shipping companies at federal and state government level as well as in relation to European and international bodies. Founded in 1907, the VDR merged with the Association of German Coastal Shipowners in 1994. With a membership of around 220, the VDR represents the majority of Germany’s merchant fleet. For more details, visit www.reederverband.de.

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