Inditex, the parent company of Zara, and outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, are among nine large corporations agreeing to transfer cargo on ships using zero-carbon fuel by 2040.
As part of the new Cargo Owners for Zero-Emission Vessels (coZEV) coalition, Amazon, sports equipment company Brooks Running, UK cycling manufacturer Frog Bikes, IKEA, German coffee brand Tchibo, tyre maker Michelin, and consumer goods behemoth Unilever are among the first signatories.
The companies' initiative is facilitated by Aspen Institute, a non-governmental organization, which expects a rapid acceleration of the shipping industry's attempts to create zero-carbon fuels in order to push the heavily polluting industries to decarbonize faster.
In its coZEV 2040 Ambition Statement, the multinational coalition stated that it will work with ocean freight carriers and third-party logistics providers who are maximizing energy efficiency through operational and technical measures and have clear plans to scale up zero-carbon fuels in their operations.
With over 90% of global trade flowing by sea, maritime shipping accounts for 3% of all worldwide emissions. According to the BBC, if the industry continues to rely on carbon-intensive fuels, the proportion could grow to 10% by 2050.
The coZEV group stated that it hoped to see shipping completely decarbonized by 2050, defining zero carbon as fuels that emit no (or very little) greenhouse emissions over their entire lifecycle.
Dan Porterfield, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, said that if we are to address the climate catastrophe, maritime transport, like all sectors of the global economy, must decarbonize swiftly, and multinational firms will be crucial actors in catalyzing a clean energy transition in maritime shipping. They congratulate the COZEV 2040 signatories on their foresight, and they encourage other cargo owners, value chain actors, and governments to join forces with them.
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