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Reflecting on Vestas joining the Getting to Zero Coalition

Published on 9th October 2019


Line Holst-Jensen
Sustainability Specialist at Vestas

Vestas Group Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs - Morten Dyrholm, represented Vestas at this year’s New York Climate Week: His presence was both to push for greater ambitions in the green energy transition, and to provide more insight into Vestas joining the ‘Getting to Zero Coalition’ (GTZC). Kasper Roed Jensen – Vice President of Ideation and Partnering, represents Vestas in the Coalition. In this article, both Morten and Kasper reflect on what this announcement means for Vestas.


 Kasper, can you tell us more about the Getting to Zero Coalition? 

The Getting to Zero Coalition is an alliance of more than sixty companies within the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors – with support from governments and intergovernmental organisations.

The mission of the Coalition is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping by at least fifty percent by 2050. The means to achieve this ambitious goal is the introduction of commercially-viable deep-sea zero-emission vessels capable of running on zero-emission fuels. The coalition focusses on the whole supply chain from energy production to end-user.


Why did Vestas choose to join this coalition?

Vestas has for the last forty years been committed to protecting the Planet by pioneering wind energy, which is today recognised as a key solution to fight climate change. Our company has already prevented millions of tonnes of CO2 from being released to the atmosphere: We have been at the forefront of making renewable energy become the cheapest form of electricity in many parts of the world and the electrification of fuels is the new frontier – basically, we have beaten coal, now it is time to beat oil. We see great potential to substitute fossil-based shipping fuel with new cost-effective, renewables-based fuel. In turn, this can save many more millions of tonnes of CO2.
On top of this, Vestas offers a wide range of competencies - from engineering and technology development to large-scale project execution and energy integration – competencies that we believe will be valuable in making the coalition a success and be able to scale at a significant speed.


Why is the global shipping sector in need of transformation on sustainability? 

Currently, the shipping industry poses a great challenge to our Planet. It accounts for 2-3 percent of global carbon emissions - making it one of the most polluting industries in the world. In fact, if it were a country, it would be the world’s sixth-largest greenhouse gas emitter: Shipping emissions could under a business-as-usual scenario increase between 50 percent and 250 percent by 2050 (GTZC, 2019). De-carbonising the industry would, therefore, have a significant influence on the environmental challenges we are faced with today - as well as in the future.

In order for us to succeed, we need to be creative and innovative and who better than Vestas - a company devoted to driving the green transition. We are fully committed to bringing our knowledge and competences to the table in order to succeed in cost-efficiently making the world a brighter and less polluted place”. 



Morten, what does the coalition mean for the direction of Vestas?  

The Coalition shows that we are fully committed to making the world a better place by driving the green energy transition. Vestas alone cannot prevent climate change, but by finding meaningful and strong collaborations we can make a real and tangible difference. 

We are already supporting customers and other partners in their journey to become more sustainable, now we want to develop and contribute beyond our own industry. Coalitions like Getting to Zero pave a way for action plans - which is exactly what the world is demanding. We believe that the decarbonisation of the shipping industry can be a catalyst for the broader energy transition, as well as giving the world a tangible solution for 2-3 percent of global greenhouse gases produced by the international shipping sector.  

At Vestas, we have a keen interest in showing that our green electrons not only power the electricity sector, but also the larger energy sectors, like transport. We want to show the world that cars, ships, planes, heating, etc. can be “Powered by Vestas”. This is one of the reasons why we have entered Formula E with Mercedes and why we are seeking meaningful alliances across the energy sector including transport. The world is moving towards electrification and Vestas is in a unique position to places ourselves in the center of this debate.


What were your general observations from this year’s Climate Week?

The events of this year’s Climate Week have certainly culminated in not just an appetite for, but a demand, that concrete climate action be taken and targets be met by companies and by governments. 

Vestas is in the unique position that it can come to the table with a key solution and not simply problems to solve. The world is looking to companies like ours to ramp-up and drive the energy transition, and we must be ready to deliver just that in the form of sustainable energy solutions.


What is next for the Coalition?

Getting to Zero is divided into four phases. The first, concerning building and expanding the Coalition base: Right now, more than sixty companies within the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sector have joined the Coalition - including companies like Maersk, Shell, and Ørsted. In roughly 2021, the developing of a solution will begin - with testing starting in 2024 and getting ready for roll-out in around 2028.

At Vestas, we are proud and excited about our commitment to this Coalition: Only through strong and meaningful collaborations, can we make real change, and the time for change is now. 


Find out more by watching the video:

 


To read more about the Getting to Zero Coalition (2019), please visit: www.globalmaritimeforum.org/getting-to-zero-coalition

If you have further questions or want to get involved, please reach out to vestassustainability@vestas.com 

(Picture source: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/shipping-must-accelerate-carbon-cuts-coalition-tells-un)


Keyword: Sustainability


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