Zero-emission cargo ship tech is here

The Ship It Zero coalition welcomed a new zero-emission cargo ship design fuelled by liquid hydrogen, unveiled by Energy Observer.

The Ship It Zero coalition welcomed a new zero-emission cargo ship design unveiled by Energy Observer. Thus, called on big retailers to use this moment to move their business to zero-emission ocean shipping carriers.


This week, the French project Energy Observer launched a multipurpose zero-emission cargo ship fuelled by liquid hydrogen. It is a technology that allows zero-emission navigation while offering very high transport capacities and autonomy.

Note that the innovative ship concept presentation took place at the One Ocean Summit in Brest, France. 

For over a year, an unprecedented number of fossil-fueled cargo ships have been clogging U.S. ports. Hence, dumping egregious levels of asthma and cancer-causing air pollutants into nearby port neighborhoods. Meanwhile, this announcement continues to prove that the technology to solve this problem is within grasp. 

Moreover, the coalition applauded the announcement of zero-emissions shipping technology and called on big retailers to adopt zero-emissions shipping now. 

Different takes

The coalition is pushing big retailers such as TargetWalmartAmazon, and IKEA to work with international shipping companies. Hence, take immediate action to abandon fossil-fueled ships and lead the way to a healthy, climate-friendly business model. This will come by committing to ship products on zero-emissions ships this decade. 

“Now is the time for big retailers like Walmart, Target, Amazon and IKEA to demand zero emission options from their primary shipping partners — or move their business elsewhere… Today’s (10 February) Energy Observer 2 announcement shows that the technology for zero-emission cargo shipping is available, so it’s time retailers ask: what else are shipping companies possibly doing with their unprecedented pandemic profits in the decade of climate emergency if not aggressively reducing their pollution and buying new zero emission ships?”

Madeline Rose, Climate Campaign Director, Pacific Environment

“It’s inspiring to see more and more zero-emissions cargo ships built and prove that this massive technical revolution is finally here. But if international shipping truly wants to address its enormous pollution problem and have a fighting chance to meet global climate goals this decade, it’s all hands on deck for ports, retailers, and cargo carriers to work together… Major retailers like Walmart, Target, Amazon, and IKEA must demand immediate emissions reductions and the rapid implementation of true zero-emissions technologies from the cargo shipping companies they work with. While it’s promising that a major carrier like CMA-CGM is involved in assessing the commercial viability of these recent efforts, it cannot be overlooked that they also have massive investments in false climate solutions like LNG-powered ships, which will only worsen the climate crisis,” 

Kendra Ulrich, Shipping Campaigns Director,

The main features of Energy Observer 2 are:

  • Length: 120 meters 
  • Width: 22 meters 
  • Draft: 5,5 meters 
  • The surface of the wings: 1450 m² 
  • Deadweight: 5,000 tons 
  • Containers: 240 TEU 
  • RoRo bridge: 480 linear meters (trucks, vehicles, and containers) 
  • Tween deck height: 6.5 meters 
  • Access ramp: 15 meters wide 
  • Commercial speed: 12 knots 
  • Electric propulsion: 4 MW
  • Fuel cell power (RexH2 EODev): 2.5 MW 
  • Liquid hydrogen tanks (LH2): 70 tons (1000 m3) 
  • Range: up to 4,000 nautical miles.
Call for change

Particularly the environmental advocacy groups Pacific Environment and is leading the campaign. Thus, Ship it Zero is calling on some of the nation’s largest maritime importers Amazon, Target, IKEA, and Walmart — to transition to 100% zero-emissions cargo shipping vessels by 2030. 

This goal will ensure the shipping industry does its fair share in helping to keep global warming under 1.5°C. Note that the target scientists say will help to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.

Source: Ship it Zero

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