Shipping has made slow progress on climate change – can methanol help?

4 weeks ago 14
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Technology | Analysis 31 August 2021

By Adam Vaughan

container ship Maersk Murcia

The container ship Maersk Murcia

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images

Shipping is a bigger contributor to climate change than aviation, remains one of the few sectors where emissions are growing instead of falling, and has yet to find a sure-fire way to decarbonise. Last week might mark the beginning of a turning point. On 24 August, Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping company, said it had ordered eight ships capable of running on both normal oil-based fuel and a type of alcohol, methanol.

These aren’t the first ships running on methanol – there are around 20 …

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