SBTi launches world-first roadmap for net-zero shipping by 2040

Amsterdam, 6 December 2022 - This guidance was developed with the support of Smart Freight Centre (SFC) and UMAS, and in consultation with a Technical Working Group (TWG) made up of experts from academia, civil society and business. The development process included a month-long public consultation to guarantee the criteria and guidance are robust, clear and practical, and provide business leaders with confidence that their decarbonization strategies are in line with climate science.

Screenshot 2023-06-21 111840

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the global body enabling businesses to set emissions reduction targets in line with climate science, is launching the world’s first framework for shipping industry companies to set near- and long-term science-based targets in line with 1.5°C and net-zero.

The maritime sector serves as a critical link in many global supply chains; more than 80% of global trade by volume is carried by sea. This sector contributes to over 3% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions, which is on course to increase more than fivefold by 2050.

Through the Science Based Target Setting Guidance for the Maritime Transport Sector, the SBTi outlines how much and how quickly a maritime transport company needs to cut emissions to be in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. It provides detailed information on how maritime companies should set targets and account for greenhouse gas emissions, taking into account the particular barriers and opportunities of the sector.

According to UMAS, a sector focussed advisory consulting which undertakes research using shipping system models, big data, and qualitative and social science analysis, the industry must scale up climate action and cut its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2040 to get on track and meet the global climate goals.

“The shipping industry is on course to increase emissions more than five fold before 2050. This is unacceptable. We must turn the ship and set a new course to drive immediate emission reductions.This is a huge challenge and we’ve created this new guidance to help maritime companies approach it head on. By using this science-based guidance, maritime transport businesses can have the confidence that they are on track and playing their part in the fight against climate breakdown.”
- Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer of the SBTi

In a first for any sector-specific science-based emissions guidance, maritime businesses must set both near- and long-term science-based targets for emissions from their owned operations. For the maritime sector, a long-term target means reducing emissions to a residual level in line with 1.5°C by no later than 2040. This is in line with sector-specific recommendations from science and academia.The SBTi Maritime Guidance has been developed for users and providers of marine transportation services, that is, companies that own and operate ocean-going vessels and those setting targets for their supply chain emissions associated with maritime trade.