State of play: Rift over green shipping
BP announced its investment in methanol startup WasteFuel this morning as international negotiators gathered in London to hash out a potential deal to slash emissions from the shipping industry.
Why it matters: A global agreement to use cleaner maritime fuels would further stoke investment in methanol and liquefied natural gas.
What's happening: Diplomats and shipping chiefs have been meeting this week at the International Maritime Organization's headquarters.
- The UN agency is aiming to tighten its greenhouse gas targets for international shipping — and ultimately set a course toward phasing out emissions entirely.
Be smart: Hydrogen-powered ships exist. But the most immediate replacement fuels will be methanol and liquefied natural gas, which are easier to transport.
The intrigue: The White House this week hosted executives from the methanol industry to talk about the IMO negotiations.
- There's growing concern that China will try to scuttle efforts to phase-out conventional maritime fuels.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration last year announced an effort to create "green shipping corridors" to encourage companies to invest in cleaner fuels.
Reality check: Methanol is already in high demand for building materials, clothing, car parts and more. Efforts to incorporate the fuel into shipping will send demand even higher, challenging supplies.