Recent studies have found that the so-called green corridors can help in advancing the transition to zero-emission shipping, something that is now very much talked about following yesterday’s big shipping announcement at COP26, the ongoing United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where 19 nations have signed on to back these new cleaner shipping routes.
A new study produced for the Getting to Zero Coalition, a collaboration between the Global Maritime Forum, Friends of Ocean Action, and World Economic Forum, threw light upon how green corridors, which are specific trade routes between major port hubs where zero-emission solutions are demonstrated and supported, can be conceived, prioritized, and designed to speed up the shipping’s transition.
It found that green corridors can make the best of favorable conditions for accelerated action since they enable policymakers to create an enabling ecosystem with targeted regulatory measures, financial incentives, and safety regulations. Moreover, it established that they can also put conditions in place to mobilize demand for green shipping on specific routes and help to catalyze accelerated decarbonization by creating spillover effects that are set to minimize shipping emissions on other corridors.
The research gave focus to three corridors: the Australia-Japan iron ore route, the Asia-Europe container route, and the Korea-Japan-US PCC corridor. The case studies were developed in partnership with more than 30 firms from across the value chain, many of which are active on the routes in question. In accordance with the findings, when applied to both routes, the green corridor concept gives sufficient scale for impact as well as the necessary specificity – across fuel pathway, cargo, policy-making environment, and vessel type – to allow a feasible, accelerated decarbonization roadmap for the domain of shipping.
Techno-economic analysis suggested that green ammonia is expected as the fuel of choice for the Australia-Japan iron ore corridor, with bunkering in North West Australia for the initial zero-emission vessels. Currently, the Asia-Europe container route is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other single global trading route. Green ammonia and green methanol are the two zero-emission fuels that may be deployed here.
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“Green corridors can help simplify the challenges of zero-emission shipping, bringing solutions to the water faster and at a meaningful scale. The maritime ecosystem is embarking on a journey to a transformed, zero-emission shipping sector. The task ahead is complex, but not impossible,” said Johannah Christensen, CEO of the Global Maritime Forum.
“Green corridors will enable us to go from ambition to action. However, there will still be a cost gap between fossil-based shipping and zero-emission shipping of the order of 25% to 65%. Targeted government action to close that cost gap on corridors could pay big dividends for the transition overall,” stated Faustine Delasalle, co-executive director, Mission Possible Partnership.
Lastly, the study concluded that the success factors may be similar for all green corridors: corridor-level consensus on fuel pathways, policy support to help close the cost gap for higher cost zero-emission fuels, and value chain initiatives to pool demand.
“Aligning on a corridor-specific decarbonization roadmap based on these factors could provide all stakeholders with the confidence that is needed to invest, coordinate, and deliver the solutions at the scale required by 2030.”