Decarbonising Maritime Transport By 2035

New report reviews pathways to zero-carbon shipping. 

Deployment of all currently known technologies could make it possible to almost
completely decarbonise maritime shipping by 2035, according to a  new report
published by the International Transport Forum at the OECD.

Four different decarbonisation pathways examined for the study would reduce
international shipping’s CO2 emission between 82% and 95% below the level currently
projected for 2035.  This reduction equals the annual emissions of 185 coal-fired
power plants. 

Alternative fuels and renewable energy can deliver much of the required reductions.
Currently available biofuels should be complemented by other natural or synthetic
fuels such as methanol, ammonia and hydrogen. Wind assistance and electric
propulsion have shown that they can bring additional reductions.

Technological measures to improve the energy efficiency of ships could yield a
substantial part of the needed emission reductions. Market-mature options include,
among others, hull design improvements, air lubrication and bulbous bows.
Operational improvements such as slower ship speeds, smoother ship-port co-ordination 
and use of larger, more efficient ships could bring further, important emission reductions.

The report  recommends to: set a clear, ambitious emissions-reduction target to drive 
decarbonisation of maritime transport; support the realisation of emissions-reduction targets 
with a comprehensive set of policy measures; and provide smart financial incentives to 
advance decarbonisation of maritime shipping.

“Certainty about the desirable decarbonisation pathway for shipping will help drive
change”, said Olaf Merk, ports and shipping expert at ITF.  “Clear guidance from
governments is therefore essential to accelerate the transition towards zero-carbon


The work for the report was carried out with support from the European Climate


Free download of the report “Decarbonising Maritime Transport: Pathways to zero
carbon-shipping” at