Decarbonisation of the Australian maritime industry

The Australian maritime industry came together at the inaugural Maritime Decarbonisation Summit to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with decarbonisation of the sector. The following general themes were identified:

• The maritime energy transition must not compromise human security and environmental protection.

• Stakeholder collaboration is essential to ensure that the decarbonization challenge is met. Ship operators, unions, ship designers, new energy suppliers, legislators and regulators, ports, financiers and scientific, research and training institutions need to work together.

• We need a proactive and committed government to provide the leadership and strategic direction, investment and support needed to unlock the potential for Australian businesses to capitalize on our unique advantages and the opportunity presented by the energy transition maritime.

The context

The Australian maritime industry carries over 95% of our freight work and is made up of a diverse set of vessels and operators. All are major contributors to the national economy, enablers of domestic and international transport, trade and tourism, and are essential to our engagement in the global economy.

For Australia to reach its ‘Net Zero by 2050’ target, there is an urgent need to accelerate the work needed to transition our maritime industry to low or zero carbon fuels, in line with other important industries and contributors to the Australian economy.

As a “hard to reduce” industry, international shipping contributes 2-3% to global GHG emissions, and on a business-as-usual trajectory, emissions are expected to increase. The initial IMO strategy provides a vision and a path towards reducing and phasing out GHG emissions in this century, but the sector faces multiple challenges to achieve this in the required timeframe, given the cost, scale and lack of supply and distribution infrastructure for alternative fuels. options.

Australia’s domestic commercial vessel industry faces similar challenges, although smaller vessel sizes and shorter journey times offer some opportunities for early adoption of existing low- and zero-emission technologies.

We welcome the Australian Government’s commitment to the Clydebank Statement and the Quad Shipping Task Force to promote low or zero emission shipping lanes, as well as the partnership with the Government of Singapore to accelerate deployment low-emission fuels in maritime and port operations. We invite government to actively engage with industry on implementation.

Australia also has the opportunity to be a major supplier of low and zero carbon fuels domestically as well as to the global marine industry. This in turn benefits our energy and supply chain security.

Globally, many of the regulatory and structural elements necessary for the international maritime industry to begin its transition and remain competitive have already been established, and it is imperative that Australia moves quickly to enact the necessary regulatory and legislative frameworks to support long-term investments here. .

The Australian maritime industry is very engaged on this issue and is looking to actively partner with state and federal governments and key stakeholders to work together to accelerate this important transition.

The MIAL Maritime Decarbonization Summit Series will continue to provide a platform for information exchange, discussion and progress on this very important issue.
Source: Marine Industry Australia