A Voice for Our Ocean

Statement: Special Envoy Kerry Makes a Needed Commitment to Eliminate Shipping Emissions by 2050

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Washington, D.C. – The following statement was issued by Dan Hubbell, Shipping Emissions Campaign Manager at Ocean Conservancy, in response to the announcement Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry made on April 20, 2021 committing the U.S. to working with countries at the International Maritime Organization to reach zero shipping industry emissions by 2050:

“Committing to reaching zero emissions from the shipping industry by 2050 is a great first step and a huge improvement over previous commitments. The International Maritime Organization previously set a goal of reaching at least 50% emissions reductions from the shipping industry by 2050, which is insufficient to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We are also far off course from reaching even those goals at present. This announcement today provides fresh wind in our sails, and we look forward to working with the U.S. and other countries to help scale up zero-carbon technologies and port infrastructure to help reach the 2050 vision Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry announced. The next key step to take would be including shipping and other ocean-based climate solutions in the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution. We also hope to see a more ambitious timeline of eliminating shipping emissions here in the U.S. specifically by 2035.”


Dan Hubbell is available for interviews upon request.

Notes to Editors:

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry’s announcement occurred at the “How Ocean-Based Solutions Contribute to Net Zero” event, which was organized by Ocean Conservancy and the U.N. Foundation. You can find a full recording of the event here, and below is the quoted commitment:

  • “In support of the global effort to keep within reach the 1.5 degree C limit on global average temperature increase, and in support of global efforts to achieve net zero greenhouse emissions no later than 2050, the United States is committing to work with countries in the International Maritime Organization to adopt a goal of achieving zero emissions from international shipping by 2050, and to adopt ambitious measures that will place the sector on a pathway to achieve this goal.” – Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit, or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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