Amazon has agreed to use zero-carbon marine fuels by 2040 as part of a new initiative aimed at speeding up decarbonisation in the maritime sector, according to Reuters.
Around 90 per cent of world trade is transported by sea, with global shipping accounting for nearly three per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions.
This has prompted calls from governing bodies for the industry to become cleaner and reduce its carbon footprint.
The new initiative, which was organised by the non-profit Aspen Institute, has nine signatories so far including furniture retailer Ikea and Michelin.
Under the agreement, companies can only purchase ocean freight services powered by scalable zero-carbon fuels by 2040.
“The time to act is now,” Amazon director Edgar Blanco said.
Ikea’s sustainability and supply chain operations manager Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld said working with others was crucial for developing ocean shipping fuel solutions.
“The voice of the cargo owners is important since we are one of the stakeholders to enable the transformation in the industry,” she told Reuters.
“We are not willing to automatically pay a premium for sustainability, but we are willing to collaborate and to co-create the solutions and share the necessary investments.”
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Shipping container prices have skyrocketed over the last few months as the global shipping crisis continues.
MGA International, one of the world’s largest toymakers, said it is spending around $20,000 on a single shipping container when previously it would have cost $2,000.
Unilever, another signatory of the agreement, said that logistics accounted for 15 per cent of the group’s total greenhouse gas emissions footprint.
“By signalling our combined commitment to zero-emission shipping, we are confident that we will accelerate the transition at the pace and the scale that is needed.”
The United Nations aims to reduce the industry’s greenhouse gasses by 50 per cent from 2008 levels to 2050, with calls growing for a more ambitious target of 100 per cent decarbonisation by 2050.
In order to achieve this figure, the development of zero or low emission fuel sources will have to speed up and container ships will need to evolve.