Glimpse Into The Future: What Will Ships Look Like In 30 Years

Watch out for the return of the sailing ship.

After a commitment last month to cut greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050, the race is on to find new technologies that can green the 50,000-strong global shipping fleet. Wind power is one of the options being discussed.

International shipping accounts for more than 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions, roughly the same as aircraft. But the 2015 Paris agreement to fight climate change left control of the shipping industry’s emissions to the International Maritime Organisation.

While environment groups applauded the agreement to cut hard and deep by 2050, they pointed out that it falls far short what is technically achievable.

A report published just before the meeting by the International Transport Forum (ITF), a thinktank run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), found that the industry could achieve up to 95% decarbonisation as early as 2035 using “maximum deployment of currently known technologies.”

Low-tech solutions

The good news is that easy-to-do low-tech solutions can deliver a lot.

Photo: Brian Yurasits

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