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From the News Desk: Is LNG fuel worth it?

Debate is heating up over whether LNG has a place in shipping’s decarbonisation. Lloyd’s List sorts the facts from the greenwashing

Maersk dismisses claims LNG will help shipping decarbonise. Vague environment reports make it harder to gauge progress. IMO prepares for grueling talks over efficiency rules, while Maersk weighs in on market-based emissions measures

DEBATE is heating up over whether liquefied natural gas helps the environment – and whether shipping should bother with it.

Maersk came out against LNG at our decarbonisation webinar, dismissing its purported benefits as  “borderline greenwashing” that offered marginal benefits at best and higher emissions at worst.

Shipping is growing more divided, though plenty of companies (MSC recently among them) have decided the bet is worth it.

Why this matters: Switching to LNG will cost the shipping industry billions. Betting on the wrong fuel could see shipowners lumped with stranded assets when cleaner technologies emerge.

A UN report found the world would need to cut 40 to 45% of human-caused methane emissions by 2030 to avoid 0.3 degrees Celsius of global warming. LNG is not regulated, but environmentalists say it should be because it traps far more heat in the atmosphere than CO2.

The World Bank earlier called on policymakers to cut support for LNG bunkering, arguing any demand would decline after 2030.

The Lloyd’s List View: Companies that embrace LNG should not confuse their business decision as environmental altruism.

Listen out for more discussion on LNG on our podcast.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency has warned shipping will not reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The net-zero goal is more ambitious than the current IMO regulation demands, but it raises the question of whether full decarbonisation by the middle of the century is achievable.

Elsewhere we report on problems with the way shipping companies report their environmental impact.

Markets editor Michelle Wiese Bockmann analysed 20 reports by the biggest owners, charterers and operators. Her verdict: Too vague, too little context, and too few ways to measure real progress.

At the International Maritime Organization, states are gearing up for what promise to be grueling talks over the detail of new efficiency rules for ships. Anastassios Adamopoulos explains what’s going on.

And Maersk has weighed in on the next big debate, over market-based emissions measures, saying any such rules should cover lifecycle emissions and be phased in over time to allay opponents’ concerns.

Find more decarbonisation coverage here.

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