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Green corridors lack commitment, says Cargill

Governments must execute and subsidise more promising proposals, maritime conference in Cyprus hears

The current crop of green corridor proposals could feasibly secure the technology and the low-carbon fuels, but it is the lack of commitment that is the most significant missing ingredient, argues Cargill’s Jan Dieleman

SO-CALLED green corridors planning zero-carbon shipping on dedicated routes are missing commitment from customers despite being technically feasible, according to Cargill Ocean Transportation, one of the world’s biggest dry bulk charterers.

“What’s really important for the green corridors today is that we will all actually commit to them including governments to show support for these because today, it’s all based on the private sector,” Jan Dieleman, head of ocean freight for agricultural giant Cargill, told the Maritime Cyprus conference.

“There’s a lot of good work being done and some of [the existing green corridor proposals] are more promising than others,” he said.

“I think one thing that hasn’t really been pulled out well enough in my mind is that customer piece. Is it technically feasible? Yes. Is there fuel availability? Yes. But is there also a customer segment that can be part of that? … that’s a little bit missing I think.”

There have been more than 30 green corridor announcements since November 2021 when the Clydebank Declaration was signed by more than 20 countries pledging to open at least six green corridors to begin by 2025.

Green corridors connect two ports with ships using zero-emission technologies.

Although a big fan of green corridors which made zero-carbon shipping more specific, applicable and practical, Dieleman said that he was worried about “green corridor inflation”.

He said there was much discussion about green corridors for copper, a dry bulk commodity that was crucial to the energy transition, as well as green corridors for green steel initiatives in Europe.

“I think it might be a little bit difficult today to have green corridors in China,” said Dieleman. China is the destination for more than half of the world’s dry bulk materials.

Green corridors were an excellent opportunity to test and demonstrate what zero-emission technologies worked, involving all the stakeholders across the supply chain, Anne Katrine Bjerregaard from the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping.

“It’s a good opportunity to test what type of regulation we need and how we can create an enabling policy framework,” she told the conference.

The ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Shanghai along with container shipping lines agreed a voluntary partnership last month on the trans-Pacific route, with unspecified goals to cut emissions via port infrastructure and marine fuels.

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