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Charting a Course for Decarbonizing Maritime Transport
The recent obstruction of the Suez Canal by a container ship has highlighted the crucial role of shipping as the backbone of global trade. Over the past years, maritime transport has come under increased pressure to lower, and ultimately eliminate, its negative environmental impact. This is particularly relevant with regard to its contributions to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollutants. Heavily relying on heavy fuel oil, maritime transport accounts for approximately three percent of global GHG emissions and emits about 15 percent of some of the world’s major air pollutants.

In 2018, the International Maritime Organization committed to reducing absolute GHG emissions from ships by at least 50 percent by 2050 (compared to 2008 levels) and to phasing out them as quickly as possible within this century. Improved energy efficiency is only a first step towards this goal. Ultimately, the shipping industry needs to undertake a rapid energy transition away from fossil fuels and toward zero-carbon bunker fuels such as biofuels, hydrogen/ammonia, or synthetic carbon-based fuels. This will require drastic transformations across the sector’s fuel supply chain in the coming decades.

In the context of Singapore Maritime Week 2021, the World Bank will launch two technical reports, titled “The Potential of Zero-Carbon Bunker Fuels in Developing Countries” and “The Role of LNG in the Transition Toward Low-and Zero-Carbon Shipping.” These will be accompanied by a “Summary for Policymakers and Industry,” discussing the key findings of both reports from a development perspective.

The event will also highlight current country ambitions and industry initiatives aimed at building up a zero-carbon bunker fuel infrastructure based on green hydrogen, and discuss how governments, the shipping industry, and the World Bank can work together to create an enabling environment for mobilizing investments in zero-carbon shipping.

Apr 23, 2021 07:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Nigel Topping
UK High-Level Climate Action Champion @COP26
Nigel Topping is the UK's High-Level Climate Action Champion. His role is to strengthen collaboration and drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions on climate change, and coordinate this work with governments and parties to the UNFCCC. Before, Nigel was CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy.
Isabelle Durant
Acting Secretary General @UNCTAD
Since she joined UNCTAD in 2017, Isabelle Durant, currently its Acting Secretary-General, has relentlessly contributed to making international trade more inclusive and greener. A former vice prime minister and senator of Belgium as well as vice president of the European parliament, Ms. Durant possesses solid experience in public affairs, intergovernmental processes and providing concrete assistance to countries.
Bernice van Bronkhorst
Global Director for Climate Change @The World Bank
Bernice Van Bronkhorst joined the World Bank in 2005 as an Urban Specialist in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region. At present Global Director, Climate Change, she oversees the key strategic priorities and implementation of the Bank’s Climate Change Action Plan, working closely with Climate Change Management team and staff, other Global Practices, and internal and external clients.