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Target, REI Join Zero Emissions Cargo Scheme

Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV) announced the addition of Target Corp., REI Co-op, Beiersdorf, DuPont, Electrolux, ETTLI Kaffee, Moose Toys, Ohana Beverage Company, Philips and Sisley to its 2040 Ambition Statement, a call to action from cargo owners to progressively switch all of their ocean freight to vessels powered by zero-carbon fuels by 2040.

These multinational companies join Amazon, Brooks Running, Frog Bikes, Ikea, Inditex, Michelin, Patagonia, Tchibo and Unilever, bringing the total to 19 companies that are sending a signal of urgency across industries to accelerate decarbonization of the maritime value chain. The new signatories more than doubles the number of companies that have signed onto the coZEV 2040 Ambition Statement, an initiative facilitated by the Aspen Institute.

“In less than a year, coZEV has changed the narrative surrounding decarbonization in maritime shipping,” said Dan Porterfield, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “Through coZEV, cargo owners are kickstarting a clean energy transition in this critical industry and the Aspen Institute is proud to support them and help enable their success.”

After a successful launch in October 2021, coZEV has begun to demonstrate the business case for investment in scalable zero-emission fuels and technologies capable of achieving full maritime industry decarbonization on a Paris-aligned trajectory. In the months following the coZEV 2040 Ambition Statement announcement, several of the largest container carriers in the world announced plans to build and launch new transoceanic dual fuel container ships capable of using zero-emission fuels by the middle of this decade.

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Numerous zero-emission fuel production plans were also announced by maritime fuel producers and major bunkering hubs around the world. Across the entire value chain, cargo owners drove higher ambition and supported new partnerships, such as the Los Angeles-Shanghai Green Shipping Corridor Partnership and the maritime shipping commitments of the First Movers Coalition, both of which are partners of the Aspen Institute.

CoZEV also organized signatories Ikea, Unilever and Tchibo to call on policymakers in the European Union to raise the ambition of its FuelEU Maritime Proposal to accelerate maritime decarbonization and provide incentives for the deployment and rapid scaling of zero-emission e-fuels.

“Support for maritime decarbonization has grown swiftly in just a short time due to the bold, climate-leading companies that are making their climate ambitions as freight customers clear to maritime carriers, fuel producers, ports and other value chain actors,” said Ingrid Irigoyen, Director of coZEV and the Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative, which is an initiative of the Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Program. “The global economy’s maritime decarbonization journey is still in its early stages, but such progress in less than a year confirms for us that cargo owners can drive impact quickly when they come together. We are so pleased to welcome these new signatories, all important global brands, and look forward to helping support their leadership in the maritime decarbonization space.”

Kate Wendt, vice president of strategy, planning and sustainability at REI Co-op, said the specialty outdoor retailer felt it was important to join a network of climate-forward leaders who are amplifying the role cargo owners can play in furthering the clean energy transition in maritime shipping.

“We believe the climate crisis is a direct threat to the future of life outside, and as a result, our business,” Wendt said. “We have committed to a science-aligned target to more than half our carbon footprint by 2030 and to being a carbon neutral organization. In becoming a signatory to coZEV’s 2040 Ambition Statement, we are prioritizing our desire to reduce a globally significant source of carbon emissions. We are excited to be a part of this initiative and look forward to accelerating the creation and adoption of carbon-free fuel sources in maritime shipping.”

Amanda Nusz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility for Target and president of the Target Foundation, said partnering with coZEV is a natural extension of the company’s work to co-create solutions that deliver growth and positive impact across industries.

“We are committed to being a net zero enterprise by 2040, with net zero emissions across both our operations and supply chain,” Nusz said. “Joining coZEV is an important part of accelerating our work to create a more sustainable, circular supply chain that furthers the health of our business and the global community.”

As other major sectors of the global economy reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enact more sustainable business practices, the maritime shipping sector is at risk of falling behind and increasing its share of global emissions from 3 percent today to 10 percent by 2050, according to the initiative. High ambition from corporate customers of the maritime industry is critical to ensure the transition to zero-emission fuels begins in earnest by the mid-2020s, achieves scalability by 2030, vastly outcompetes fossil-fuel powered shipping by 2040, and fully decarbonizes the maritime transport sector by 2050 at the latest, it said.

“If we are to see a vast global fleet of zero-emission vessels on the water by 2040, we need accelerated investment in that transition today,” Irigoyen added. “This growing roster of coZEV 2040 signatories that represent a wide range of industries boosts our sense of optimism that we can eliminate the climate impact of even the hardest to abate sectors. But first mover action in this space isn’t enough. We’re hopeful that global and regional policy action, such as the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act in the United States, the ongoing discussions in the European Union on their Fit For 55 policy and the upcoming International Maritime Organization meetings, provide concrete policy wins that match cargo owners’ ambition to achieve the clean energy future we all deserve.”

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just and equitable society. The institute drives change through dialogue, leadership and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colo., and an international network of partners.

The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program’s Shipping Decarbonization Initiative (SDI) is partnering with leading organizations and companies from around the world to drive the transition to zero emission maritime shipping and decarbonize one of the most important sectors of the global economy. Aspen SDI is convening multinational cargo owners to accelerate shipping decarbonization, elevating the need for shipping decarbonization within the U.S. policy context, and advancing the establishment of zero-carbon transoceanic maritime transport corridors.