Det Norske Veritas presented findings of a study in Copenhagen today that shows that shipping can cut its emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The results were presented onboard the Viking Lady, the world’s first commercial ship with a fuel cell adapted to marine use installed onboard, while docked in Copenhagen. The good news, according to Tor Svensen COO of DNV: the scenario implies a zero-cost for the industry.

“What we have here is a model that looks at the potential of a range of reduction measures; from more efficient voyage execution to speed reduction and the employment of fuel cells on board the ships. The results are quite encouraging; if the shipping industry starts acting now and applies the available cost-efficient technologies, emissions can be reduced considerably. Without additional costs incurred. By doing this we can go a long way in meeting some of the tough requirements already set. Also those currently being debated in Copenhagen,” Svensen said in a prepared statement.

Even higher emission reduction at incremental costs
The study looks at ships from all market segments, both from the existing fleet and newbuildings projected to be built in the years to come. The results show that shipping, compared to a projected baseline (where no measures are applied) of 1,530 million tons of CO2, could cut emissions by 30 percent by 2030 at zero-cost . This equals a reduction in emissions of 500 million tons of CO2. The study also shows that the emission reduction potential would increase to 50 percent if all identified measures costing up to $100 per ton of CO2 were implemented.

Regulations and tighter enforcement still needed
The study suggests that where emission reduction and sound economic rationale pull in the same direction, widespread implementation of cost-effective measures will come over time. Enforcement through regulatory means could, however, be necessary where the economic pull is weaker. “While there is no silver bullet which could make it all happen, the aggregated effect of all measures are significant and will ensure an industry that operates in a more energy efficient manner and also takes its share of the common responsibility of reducing carbon emissions,” Svensen said.