Norwegian Shipowners Commit to Carbon Neutrality by 2050


ship at sunset
Photo: Shutterstock / Nightman1965

Norwegian shipowners are committing an ambitious plan for the entire Norwegian fleet to be carbon neutral by 2050.

The commitment, made under the umbrella of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, is a multi-tiered strategy consistent with Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius.

The commitment is comprised of four specific goals; cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% per transported unit by 2030, compared to 2008; only ordering vessels with zero emissions from 2030; achieving climate neutrality by 2050; and an international ban from 2050 on fuels that are not climate neutral.

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association has approximately 130 members controlling around 1,800 ships and offshore rigs with a total tonnage of 50 million deadweight tonnes as of January 2020. 

“Norwegian shipping is taking a leading role by setting ambitious goals for the development of new and profitable green technology,” says Harald Solberg, CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association. “We have high ambitions, even in areas that today do not have commercially available technological solutions. We believe ambitious goals will help accelerate the necessary development. This means that the entire industry, in collaboration with the authorities, both nationally and internationally, must engage in developing new solutions,” Solberg says.

The International Maritime Organization’s initial strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping sets a level of ambition to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008, while simultaneously pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely. The initial strategy is due to be revised by 2023.

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association says it sees great business opportunities in taking a leadership role in technology innovation, while also contributing to the mitigation of global warming, providing cleaner air and healthier oceans, and green job growth.

“We need new technology and new sustainable solutions, and development must happen quickly,” says Solberg. “We can meet global climate targets while generating business opportunities . We have already accomplished a great deal, and now we want to do even more,” he says.



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