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Snapshot: Zero-Emission Shipping Mission by Mission Innovation

International shipping accounts for 2-3% of today's global CO2 emissions. If no action is taken, emissions are estimated to grow further through 2050. To prevent this from happening, the governments of Denmark, the United States and Norway, together with the Global Maritime Forum and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping have joined forces in the “zero-emission shipping mission” initiative, which aims to decarbonize the entire maritime value chain by 2030.

Download the Mission Innovation material:

Mission Innovation presentation - June 2021
I-download ang PDF • 1.62MB

Zero-Emission Shipping Mission

The key objective is to target the entire value chain and to reach zero-emissions as soon as possible. The Shipping Mission will engage in activities that will help develop, test, and commercialize maritime and energy technologies and make the market ready for zero-emission vessels.

Several countries, international organizations, and institutions have also expressed an interest in the Mission: Morocco, the UK, Singapore, India, France, South Korea, Ghana, Germany, the Netherlands, Chile, Australia, The European Commission, and C40.

The draft governance structure of the Zero-Emission Shipping Mission

Below is the draft governance structure of the Mission, which includes:

  • A rotating chair, providing all co-lead countries with the opportunity to chair the steering committee.

  • A secretariat staffed or resourced by the co-leads.

  • Three sub-steering committees (the ship, fuel production, and fuel infrastructure), providing co-leads with an opportunity to take lead of one of them according to interests.

Denmark’s Resources to the Mission

Being one of the initiators and co-leads of the Mission, Denmark has provided numerous resources to support the different levels of the Mission.

On the management level, Denmark will be actively involved and dedicate relevant workforce and expertise for all three pillars under the Mission; the ships pillar, the fuel infrastructure pillar. In addition, Denmark will provide funding for a full-time position as Head of Secretariat and chair the Steering Committee for the first term with a Senior Representative from the Danish Maritime Authority, who will also get involved in external meetings. Finally, the Danish Climate Ambassador and senior representation will be involved on all activities under the three pillars.

On the construction level, the Danish Parliament has adopted a climate agreement for the industry and energy sectors, which includes many initiatives directly linked to the Mission. Denmark will construct two energy islands, with a targeted total capacity of 5 GW with completion scheduled by 2030. Further, Denmark will generate clean fuels on the islands by utilizing "Power-to-X" (PtX) technologies. The PtX technologies enable energy producers to convert power from offshore wind turbines to green ammonia and help decarbonize the shipping sector. These initiatives fit under the fuel production pillar, where solutions will be tested and demonstrated, which in the long run can be scaled and exported to other countries to produce zero-emission fuels for international shipping.

In terms of regulation, Denmark is committed to supporting regulatory measures that enable technological development, ensuring that the new zero-emission solutions can enter the market while having safety remaining a top priority.

On the R&D level, Denmark has committed 2.9% of its national BNP to R&D in 2021, of which a significant portion is devoted to projects related to the green transition. Furthermore, Denmark supports a Horizon Europe initiative labeled "Zero-emission Waterborne Transport partnership" aiming to provide and demonstrate zero-emission solutions for all main ship types and services before 2030, which will enable zero-emission waterborne transport before 2050. Additionally, Denmark will ensure awareness and access to the funding calls on the national, regional, and international levels by communicating and sharing information diligently.

Concerning the zero-emission shipping mission, Denmark has provided numerous budgets:

  • 700 million DKK to establish Green Research

  • Innovation Partnerships allocated 20 million DKK to the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration program for green maritime technologies, which will fit into the ships pillar of the mission.

  • Moreover, the Danish Innovation Fund, supported by a consortium of maritime stakeholders from the industry and academia, has allocated an additional 33 million DKK to ShippingLab, which funds green innovation projects.

  • In addition, Denmark has supported a gap analysis on innovation needs to decarbonize shipping, which will be conducted by the Technical University of Denmark and Oxford Research, which will be ready in August/September.

Lastly, Denmark is committed to strengthening its climate diplomacy to promote climate-neutral development pathways globally, including focusing on the green energy transition across all sectors, particularly international shipping.

Call to Action: The Mission is seeking Partners to Join

As co-lead, government authorities and private sector actors will have plenty of opportunities to get involved in further co-creation of Mission activities, take leadership of activities aligned with national initiatives and priorities, get a platform at COP26 in November 2021 to present the Mission and other relevant international fora etc.

Below are the areas in which The Mission is seeking partners:

  • The Mission leadership, bringing ministerial engagement, senior-level strategic planning, and contribution resources and/or in-kind contributions to the steering and management of the mission.

  • The Mission core group, developing and implementing one or more of the Mission pillars (ships/fuels/infrastructure) and maintaining a high level of engagement with Mission activities.

  • The Mission support group takes part in Mission activities and facilitates engagement between the Mission and national stakeholders. Members of the support group will contribute to outreach activities and occasionally arrange activities, e.g., workshops.

Contact the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore for more information about business opportunities and how Denmark seeks to inspire green transition in Southeast Asia:

Mark Edward Perry

Sector Expert at Royal Danish Embassy Singapore

Phone: +65 9088 5567


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