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The initiative helping big consumer brands push for zero-emission ships

Seeks to get up to 30,000 teu of influence in urging deep-sea container shipping to make first zero-emission step

An initiative has been launched to help cargo owners put pressure on container ship owners and operators to build zero emission vessels. The Cargo Owners Zero Emission Vessel Initiative (coZEV) has been launched by a range of advocacy groups led by the Aspen Institute, USA, and including  University College London’s Energy Institute, UK,  Clean Air Task Force, US, ClimateWorks Foundation, US, Environmental Defense Fund, US, and Ocean Conservancy,US.

The plan is to encourage cargo owners, and by this some of the largest public-facing consumer brands one can think of, to pledge a commitment to use zero emission vessels.

This includes agreeing to provide specific volumes of freight over time to the first ocean going vessel that is zero-emission ready, setting a exclusively buying zero emission maritime freight services by a certain year, and urging container carriers to meet specific greenhouse reduction benchmarks using technologies that are currently available.

Nishatabbas Rehmatulla at the University College London told Fathom World that the organisers of the initiative are currently in talks with about half a dozen well-known brands but declined to disclose who they are. They will have, he said a collective power to influence carriers.

He also declined to reveal the timeline of the initiative.

Once the initiative developers have secured leading names they will then likely fnd it easier to find other big brands to join the commitment he said. The belief is that if they can secure commitments of up to 30,000 teu (20’ container equivalent) on front and back hauls.

The initiative needs to have a critical mass of cargo owners as the larger container vessels on international runs have cargo owned by a large number of manufacturers, retailers of shippers.

The first step is to encourage the construction of a zero-emission vessel on an Asia to US route. By zero emission Dr Rehmatulla says this will not include a vessel powered by either LNG or biofuels, but will be a vessel with ammonia, hydrogen or an electro fuel.

UCL’s Energy Institute staff are part of UMAS, a maritime consultancy group that is behind the IMO Greenhouse gas studies, notably the fourth version which has been recently completed and sent to the IMO.

About Author

Craig Eason Stockholm
Craig Eason is the owner and editorial director of Fathom.World. He has a background in the shipping industry having started his career as a cadet on oil tankers and gas carriers before becoming a navigating officer on a range of vessel types. A change in career, with ensuing university studies, and he has now gained 20 years experience in written and broadcast journalism. He now is in demand as a knowledgeable and competent editor and event host and moderator, both for in-house events and ones for the public.

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