A declaration pledging to create specific zero-emission shipping routes – channels that are decarbonised from end to end, including all vessels and land-based infrastructure – known as ‘green maritime corridors’ has been signed by 22 countries at COP26.

International shipping is responsible for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. (Photo by BNMK 0819 via Shutterstock)

Under the Clydebank Declaration, six green corridors will be established by 2025 and scaled up in the following years. The Declaration does not specify a final target, but a goal will be considered in 2025.

Among the signatories, which include Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, the UK and the US, two or more will identify “relevant and willing port operators” and others along the value chain to decarbonise a specific shared route. The coalition will also work to potentially include the notion of green corridors in national climate action plans required under the Paris Agreement.

According to analysis from University College London, green shipping corridors are “critical” to enable early adoption of long-term decarbonisation solutions for international shipping, which is responsible for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The corridors are expected to help the sector gain important operational experience, reduce costs and address safety issues around zero and low greenhouse gas emission fuels.