There is barely a sector in the world untouched by the need to reduce CO2 emissions in order to help the global community meet its Paris Accord agreements by 2050.
Transport has a major role to play in this goal. According to the International Energy Agency, the transport sector as a whole contributes a staggering 37 percent of global emissions by end users.
The shipping sector alone accounts for roughly 2 to 3 percent of emissions globally, and as with all sectors with unabatable CO2 emissions, faces a number of challenges to reduce its carbon footprint. The 2050 goals would require the sector to reduce or offset its emissions by around 15% by 2030.
Yet the entire global economy relies on maritime shipping, with the vast majority of imported and exported goods shipped by sea. It is also a relatively low-energy means of transport.
Nevertheless, companies in the shipping and related industries acknowledge the role they can play in creating a decarbonized and more sustainable future, and are adopting innovative and novel strategies to meet their CO2 emissions goals as well as their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments.
Asian Tigers’ Double Tiger Initiative
Asian Tigers is a Singapore-based relocation specialist servicing the relocation needs of over 16,000 families per year and is a preferred relocation partner of more than 400 of the world’s Fortune 500 companies.
In 2001, the company created the Tiger Action Fund, dedicated to protecting wild tiger populations in Asia. The group then partnered with WWF Singapore to launch an ambitious project to double the number of tigers in the wild. Support includes providing resources for anti-poaching measures, ranger training, and research and policy advocacy.
Asian Tigers’ Cambodia Country Director, Paul Glew said, “As a sector, we need to decarbonize quickly and we also need to protect our natural environment. We feel privileged to be a part of this effort to help increase wild tiger populations in Asia, and consider it a core tenet of our social responsibility as a company.”
The Use Of Carbon Capture At Sea
Our reliance on the global shipping system is substantial and only likely to grow. Decarbonizing the sector, then, is considered by the IEA as vital to achieving Paris targets.
Almost three years ago, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding launched a prototype CCS-At-Sea system to be installed on vessels to capture CO2 emissions during the voyage. While additional weight and storage capacity requirements make the concept challenging, the approach demonstrates the commitment the sector has towards decarbonization.
Multiple efforts have followed to capture carbon emissions onboard using scrubbers, which already remove Ox and NOx from exhaust gas. As Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) has attracted the attention of both the IEA and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as central to any viable path toward a decarbonized future, a range of CCUS initiatives has emerged in the maritime and other transport sectors.
Tonne-For-Tonne Carbon Offsetting With Blockchain Technology
U.S.-based CarbonKerma has developed a digital carbon marketplace where net emitters can purchase carbon credits to offset their emissions. Unlike other carbon markets, however, CarbonKerma offers unique levels of precision and measurability.
The innovative platform combines two technologies that are capable of helping the shipping sector offset unabatable CO2 emissions in a transparent and fully accountable manner. While CCUS is not, itself, a new technology, the growing recognition of its importance as a tool in the decarbonization effortmeans it is only going to become more important as we work toward our Paris goals.
And by placing sequestered tonnes of CO2 on the blockchain in the form of digital tokens, CarbonKerma provides a solution that can allow shipping companies to offset their emissions with precision, confidence, and efficiency.
By purchasing digital tokens that represent CO2 that has been verifiably and permanently sunk under strict regulations, shipping companies are able to spread the per-tonne cost of offsetting across their payload and offer cargo owners the tokens to make each shipment carbon neutral.
The tonne-for-tonne approach made possible by CarbonKerma’s digitized tokens makes the cost of offsetting virtually inconsequential.
The unique matching of high-quality CCUS-derived carbon credits with the permanent, immutable, and publicly available record of carbon neutrality that blockchain technology provides, positions CarbonKerma as an attractive marketplace for companies with emissions that are hard to abate.
While focused on helping reduce atmospheric CO2, it is not lost on CarbonKerma CEO Irfan Ali that other things can and need to be done in the sector to resolve other pressing environmental issues:
“While the world develops and humans are climbing out of poverty more rapidly than ever before, it is important to not leave our animals and wildlife behind”.
The shipping industry is working on a range of measures to reduce its carbon and environmental footprints. With sufficient investment into a combination of initiatives and technologies, seaborne transport and logistics companies have the opportunity to become stewards of a more sustainable environment and a decarbonized global economy.