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NAERINGSPH-Nærings-phd

Aligning shipping with the Paris Agreement: Expert knowledge, the IMO, and a decarbonised shipping industry in the making

Alternative title: Shipping og Parisavtalen: Ekspertkunnskap, IMO, og shippingindustriens reise mot en karbonfri fremtid

Awarded: NOK 1.7 mill.

Project Number:

291009

Application Type:

Project Period:

2018 - 2023

Funding received from:

Organisation:

Location:

This project examines the implementation of the new greenhouse gas strategy from the IMO and the decarbonisation of international shipping. The shipping industry is now in what can be characterised as a moment of flux. The industry is grappling not only with demands to decarbonise and the search for technologies to achieve this, but also with digitalisation processes that could change the shipping industry and may dramatically alter the production and transparency of knowledge about shipping activities. This moment of flux is characterised by an increasing dominance of expert knowledge in decision-making and policy-making processes at the firm, national and international levels, and by the incorporation of new forms of expertise in the shipping industry. The primary objective of the project is to identify how different kinds of expert knowledge shape regulatory and technology developments, and how knowledge can support (or prevent) decarbonisation at the speed and scale envisioned in the IMO strategy. A secondary objective is to identify how processes of digitalisation are changing knowledge production processes and notions of expertise in the shipping industry in relation to decarbonisation efforts. The purpose of the project is to provide a better understanding of the dynamics of decarbonisation of shipping and provide recommendations to DNV GL and different actors in the shipping industry on what actions they can take to support the industry?s transition towards decarbonization.

In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization adopted an “initial strategy” for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in international shipping. The strategy sets the ambition to reduce annual emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, and refers to, “A pathway of CO2 emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals”. This presents a sea change in IMO governance of greenhouse gas emissions. Before the April meetings, the organisation was critiqued for its slow pace, while emissions from international shipping have continued to increase. The shipping industry is now in what can be characterised as a moment of flux. The industry is grappling not only with demands to decarbonise and the search for technologies to achieve this, but also with digitalisation processes that could change the shipping industry and may dramatically alter the production and transparency of knowledge about shipping activities. This moment of flux is characterised by an increasing dominance of expert knowledge in decision-making and policy-making processes at the firm, national and international levels, and by the incorporation of new forms of expertise in the shipping industry. This project examines how different kinds of expert knowledge shape the form, pace and direction of decarbonisation of international shipping, focusing on processes related to the implementation of the IMO greenhouse gas strategy. The project will explore the dynamics of decarbonisation, and will initially concentrate on the following sub-topics. First, the project will focus on two kinds of expert knowledge, 1) standards and 2) technology projections, and study how and the extent to which they shape the form, pace and direction of decarbonisation. Second, the project will study how processes of digitalisation are changing knowledge production processes and notions of expertise in the shipping industry in relation to decarbonisation efforts.

Activity:

NAERINGSPH-Nærings-phd