Green Shipping Corridors To Combat Climate Change, Reveals SFOC Report

An alliance between South Korea, the US, and Japan is leading the development of green shipping corridors to reach net-zero emissions in international shipping, an essential milestone in the effort against climate change. The program, which intends to change maritime transport by switching to zero-carbon vessels along approved routes, is detailed in a thorough report published by the Sustainable Futures for Ocean and Climate (SFOC), a nonprofit organisation for more effective climate action and energy transition.

The Clydebank Declaration, first introduced at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in 2021, saw several nations pledge to create at least six carbon-free maritime routes worldwide by 2025. The US established the Green Shipping Corridor Framework in February 2022, building on this momentum and laying the groundwork for challenging goals to attain zero greenhouse gas emissions in maritime transportation by 2050.

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The South Korean government’s recent actions highlight its dedication to environmentally friendly maritime routes even more. Plans for South Korea’s involvement in a global framework were presented by President Yoon Suk Yeol at the G20 Summit in September 2023. This culminated in the assessment of four suggestions for green maritime corridors. Given the three countries’ linked trade dynamics, cross-border coordination is critical to developing these corridors. With South Korea being a major supplier and importer to the United States and Japan, the opportunity for significant emissions reductions through coordinated efforts is enormous.

But there are obstacles, especially when switching to alternate fuels and limited infrastructure. Although South Korea can potentially produce alternative fuels in the future, experts warn that existing production restrictions present challenges. Thus, alliances with countries rich in abundant renewable energy resources become essential to guaranteeing steady fuel supplies.
The foundation of the proposed corridors comprises the selection of essential ports, including New York/New Jersey, Busan, Gwangyang, Tokyo/Yokohama, Nagoya, and Long Beach. These ports, which handle a lot of container traffic, are well-positioned to help the shipping industry switch to environmentally friendly methods.

The SFOC study estimates significant savings in carbon dioxide emissions and underlines the potential environmental benefit of green maritime corridors. Decarbonisation measures are critically needed, as evidenced by analysis showing that in 2022 alone, vessels passing through these corridors released millions of tons of CO2. Two suggested routes, Busan–Tokyo/Yokohama–LA/Long Beach and Busan–Tokyo/Yokohama–New York/New Jersey, connect ports in the three countries and present viable emission-cutting options. The effort tries to quicken the switch to low-carbon or zero-carbon alternatives by giving priority to these routes and making use of the infrastructure that already exists.

However, strong collaborations and well-defined milestones are essential to achieving the ambitious targets outlined in the Paris Agreement. Various stakeholders, including governments, shipping firms, and port authorities, must drive policy changes and infrastructure advancements to achieve carbon neutrality.

The SFOC concludes the report by adding that further discussions should explore measures to protect secure, safe, and healthy working conditions to protect the labour rights of local communities and workers and reduce the social effects of the change.

Reference: SFOC

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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