DNV warns of increasing emissions from the transport sector despite electrification Ship’s crew

The transport sector will experience a revolution with the widespread introduction of electrification, but will also increase its share of total emissions, classification society DNV warns in its latest report.

The report entitled changing trafficshows that despite the rapid increase in electrification in the transport sector, which is expected to increase from 1% today to 23% in 2050, a large part of the transport system will remain dependent on fossil fuels.

As a result, the transport sector’s share of total emissions will increase from 25% today to 30% by 2050.

Currently, the transport of people and goods accounts for about a quarter of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions, a share that will increase to 30% by 2050, according to DNV. The report underscores the urgent need for reliable non-fossil fuels to support emissions reductions, particularly in the hard-to-reduce shipping and aviation sectors where oil has staying power. According to DNV, strong policies are also needed to ensure the necessary decarbonization to hydrogen and sustainable biofuel.

Looking specifically at the maritime sector, according to DNV, the energy mix should consist of 50% low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels by 2050.

Drawing on DNV’s systems dynamics-based Energy Transition Outlook model, the report examines the dramatic shifts in fuel, electricity and infrastructure required to transport ever-increasing numbers of people and freight while decarbonizing the sector. Road transport is a leader in reducing dependence on fossil fuels, falling from 38 million barrels per day (bpd) today to 19 million bpd in 2050, dropping the share from 91% to 57%. Conversely, aviation oil consumption will remain virtually unchanged until 2050, with hydrocarbons accounting for 60% of the sector in the same year.

DNV says that despite the projected halving of oil demand in the transport sector by 2050, the current pace of the transition will fall well short of the Paris Agreement targets.

DNV Group President and CEO Remi Eriksen highlighted the urgent need for reliable, non-fossil fuels to support emissions reductions, particularly in the shipping and aviation sectors. “There is an urgent need for policymakers to accelerate their efforts to incentivize research and development, pilot projects and commercial deployment of carbon-neutral and zero-carbon fuels across the transport sector to meet mid-century net-zero targets support,” he said.

The report highlights the challenge of deriving a single solution for the decarbonization of transport, with a variety of energy sources required to meet the challenge in each sector. Encouragingly, the results show that biofuels will meet a quarter of aviation demand by 2050 as the aviation sector strives to support decarbonization efforts. However, the report stresses the importance of government and industry support to manage the rise of advanced biofuels for aviation and shipping, with the sustainable fuel expected to be more expensive than its fossil fuel counterparts.

DNV’s report highlights the challenges facing the transport industry and where further policies and investments are urgently needed to accelerate the decarbonization of the transport sector. With transport responsible for a significant portion of global emissions, it is important that policymakers accelerate efforts to incentivize research and development, pilot projects and the commercial use of carbon-neutral and zero-carbon fuels across the transport sector to achieve this Network to support mid-century zero goals.

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