Fossil fuel free shipping?

(Image credit: Jocelyn Timperley)

This is not my typical post with charts, graphs, and data, but as a fan of both wood and boats the BBC article The futuristic cargo ship made of wood by Jocelyn Timperley (11/17/2020) is one I had to share.

In a small, rustic shipyard on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, a small team is building what they say will be the world’s largest ocean-going clean cargo ship.

Ceiba is the first vessel built by Sailcargo, a company trying to prove that zero-carbon shipping is possible, and commercially viable. Made largely of timber, Ceiba combines both very old and very new technology: sailing masts stand alongside solar panels, a uniquely designed electric engine and batteries.

Ok, a little bit of data:

The global shipping sector emitted just over a billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018, equivalent to around 3% of global emissions – a level that exceeds the climate impact of Germany’s entire economy.

A major study found shipping emissions rose by 10% between 2012 and 2018, and projected that they could rise up to 50% further still by 2050 as more and more things are shipped around the world.

 

About Thomas J. Pfaff

Thomas J. Pfaff is a Professor of Mathematics at Ithaca College. He created this website because he believes that sustainability, ranging from climate change to social justice, should be included in all courses whenever possible.

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