Decarbonization in shipping

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There are extensive barriers to implementation of solutions that should be systematically addressed through policy development. Maturity of technology, technical complexity, crew competence, access to finance, investment horizons, and regulations and politics are barriers that prevent scaling up of solutions. Addressing this requires initiatives and actions across stakeholders in the sector. DNV GL actively participates in national and international initiatives and contributes to research programs and studies.  

Assets based on carbon intensive products and services may have little long-term value. Ships have an expected life-time of 20 to 25 year. Over such a time span, with major shifts in consumer preferences, regulations, technologies and energy demand and supply, there is a significant risk of stranded assets. DNV GL continuously monitors developments on regulations, technologies and the energy system and provides positions papers and other publications such as e.g. Low Carbon Pathways and the annual Energy Transition Outlook. 

Individual companies in the shipping industry should assess climate-related risks, to prevent unforeseen losses and tap into opportunities. Climate risks for an organisation include both risks related to a changing climate (physical risks) and risks related to the transition to a low-carbon economy (transition risks). Transition risks include political/legal risks, technology risks, market risks and reputational risks.

Shipping is not the only sector that has to reduce emissions, and decarbonization will be an all-encompassing effort for all sectors of the economy. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, created by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) at the request of the G20 in 2015, recently launched recommendations for climate-related financial disclosures by companies to support investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters in understanding material risks. The recommendations send a clear signal to companies that climate risks are no longer solely a non-financial issue. DNV GL supports ship owners with key insights and advisory services to identify and address these climate risks.

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