Decarbonisation of maritime shipping could create up to 4 million green jobs

The maritime shipping industry is currently responsible for 3% of global CO2 emissions, equivalent to the annual emissions of Japan.

As the backbone of the global economy, responsible for 80% of global trade, the industry has faced enormous pressure to rapidly decarbonise. In 2023, the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s member states agreed an end date to fossil fuel consumption “by or around” 2050.

Achieving this target will require large volumes of scalable zero emission fuels, a significant share of which will be e-fuels based on hydrogen.

In this scenario, up to £3.2 trillion of investment is required to support the development of renewable infrastructure, hydrogen production, and fuel production facilities for e-ammonia for shipping.

This significant capital investment will have a dramatic impact on the creation of green jobs across the supply chain. It also has the potential to create immense benefits to the wider economy, furthering climate action, whilst also supporting the development of renewable energy projects and the uptake of green hydrogen across other sectors.

Due to the rapid scaling of e-fuel uptake during the 2030s, it’s predicted that this decade will see the creation of the most green jobs across each area of the supply chain – an upper bound range of between 1m and 4m jobs worldwide.

The Global Maritime Forum calls for further research and analysis on the role of other future fuels, beyond e-fuels, in the creation of quality green jobs, as well as building a stronger understanding of the different geographical implications relating to the decarbonisation of the maritime sector.

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