Green Shipping Corridors Take Off at COP27

John Kerry at COP27
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry at the launch of the Green Shipping Challenge, Nov. 7 (U.S. State Department)

Published Nov 7, 2022 10:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

The United States' top climate envoy and the prime minister of Norway formally kicked off a new maritime initiative at this year's international climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and green corridors were at top of mind. 

The shipping sector is not covered by the Paris Climate Accord, the main topic of conversation at COP27, but it made an appearance at a ceremony for the new Global Shipping Challenge. The challenge highlights 40 national and corporate climate commitments, like Maersk's $10 billion deal with Spain to make green bunker fuel, America's $3 billion investment in clean ports in the Inflation Reduction Act, and a growing list of green shipping corridor plans.

The recently-announced corridor initiatives span the globe, and they include the following partners, regions and routes:

- U.S.-UK
- UK-Norway
- UK-Netherlands
- Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway
- U.S.-South Korea
- LA/Long Beach-Singapore
- LA/Long Beach-Shanghai
- Singapore-Southeast Asia
- Singapore-Australia
- Belgium-Sweden
- U.S. Gulf-Lower Mississippi
- Alaska-British Columbia-Seattle (cruise only)

Other corridor initiatives include two research publications, a $1.5 million pledge towards feasibility studies, and a new Green Shipping Corridor Hub, an online platform for stakeholders worldwide.

Norwegian Prime Minister Johas Gahr Støre and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy on Climate John Kerry presided over an opening ceremony for the challenge at COP27 on Monday. 

For their part, Norway's green maritime leaders announced a substantial pledge to cut their emissions at the same pace as the rest of Norwegian society - that is, by 50 percent by 2030. This ambitious goal would require 700 low-emission and 400 zero-emission ships in Norway alone. “Together we are ready to enter into a binding partnership with the authorities to reach our national climate targets, and this is a big step towards closer cooperation,” said Daniel Garden, the head of Norway's Blue Maritime Cluster. “To transform the entire industry, we must provide and share zero-emission solutions, products and knowledge both within the collaboration and out in the wider market.”