1) SLOW DOWN
Reducing speeds will dramatically reduce shipping’s environmental impacts – on air pollution, greenhouse gases, underwater noise, even the number of collisions with whales.
Mandatory speed limits for all ships globally, via the UN’s International Maritime Organisation, is a policy already supported by the American Bureau of Shipping, 120 shipping companies, and many environmental NGOs.
Ask Amazon, Apple and Walmart – do you support this policy?
(Explainer: speed reduction is successful at cutting CO2 emissions because there’s an exponential relationship between ship speed and fuel consumption. Just like if you drive your car at 50mph rather than 80mph you’ll burn less fuel and emit less CO2 while travelling the same distance.
2) BE TRANSPARENT
Will Amazon, Apple and Walmart publicly announce a date by which they will only buy zero-carbon ocean freight, and then publish the annual CO2 emissions from their maritime shipping supply chains every year until they get there?
Will Amazon, Apple and Walmart be transparent on whether they use ships with “scrubbers” installed, to save money and boost profits while pumping thousands of tonnes of contaminated carcinogenic waste water into marine environments every day?
We already know that zero-emission cargo ships are technologically possible. The “Getting to Zero” coalition is a group of more than 90 companies in the maritime sector committed to getting zero-emission, full-size ocean-going cargo ships into commercial operation before 2030.
How? While battery electric ships can cover short distances, long-haul intercontinental voyages can capture free energy by installing some cool modern wind-assisted propulsion systems on their ships, and running on green hydrogen-based fuels manufactured using 100% renewable energy (not “brown” hydrogen manufactured using fossil fuels – that’s just stupid).
Green hydrogen could power nearly all trans-Pacific containership routes, according to a recent study. For that to actually happen, it will take pressure from all of us to demand that companies like Amazon, Apple and Walmart INVEST in scaling up these solutions.
If your company relies on shipping its products across the oceans, take responsibility and Sort Your Ship Out.