Shipping Adds Heavily to Climate Change. Are Green Ships the Solution?

"The container shipping lines that carry the bulk of global trade are betting on greener technologies, but there are still reasons those wagers could fail."

"On a bright September day on the harbor in Copenhagen, several hundred people gathered to welcome the official arrival of Laura Maersk.

Laura was not a visiting European dignitary like many of those in attendance. She was a hulking containership, towering a hundred feet above the crowd, and the most visible evidence to date of an effort by the global shipping industry to mitigate its role in the planet’s warming.

The ship, commissioned by the Danish shipping giant Maersk, was designed with a special engine that can burn two types of fuel — either the black, sticky oil that has powered ships for more than a century, or a greener type made from methanol. By switching to green methanol, this single ship will produce 100 fewer tons of greenhouse gas per day, an amount equivalent to the emissions of 8,000 cars.

The effect of global shipping on the climate is hard to overstate. Cargo shipping is responsible for nearly 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions — producing roughly as much carbon each year as the aviation industry does."

Ana Swanson reports for the New York Times October 30, 2023.

Source: NYTimes, 11/01/2023