9 July 2021 • 5 min

Daniel Taylor

Collaboration Fuels Innovation – Partnering with the UK to Reduce Emissions

By Daniel Taylor, Senior Trade Adviser Sweden, Department for International Trade (DIT)

Wind Turbines

Shipping remains essential to global trade and is already one of the most sustainable ways of moving goods. 

However, the maritime sector still accounts for more than 2% of global carbon emissions and it is clear that more needs to be done to reduce emissions. 


In a commitment milestone, the UK recently became the first country to include shipping emissions in its Carbon Budget.

Cross industry and cross-border collaboration is key to tackling the challenges posed by hard to abate sectors. In Sweden, a European consortium of companies are partnering to reduce emissions from shipping.


Setting sail for net zero

In 2020, The Prime Minister’s announced the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. This includes £20 million invested in the Clean Maritime Demonstration Programme to develop clean maritime technology. The UK wants to decarbonise shipping as part of its aim to achieve zero emissions by 2050 and is the first country to include shipping emissions in its 6th annual carbon budget.


Companies are taking up the challenge

The Liquid Wind consortium in Sweden is an excellent example of cross-industry collaboration to reduce emissions in shipping and hard to abate sectors.

Partners in the consortium include Alfa Laval, Haldor Topsoe, Siemens Energy, Worley, and the UK’s Carbon Clean.

The world needs cleaner fuel in significant volumes, fast. This is a big challenge and not something that can be achieved alone. We are proud to work with world-class companies to produce carbon neutral eMethanol. By combining each of our expertise, technologies and connections, we will accelerate the sustainable energy transition and make a significant dent in carbon emissions" – Claes Fredriksson, Founder & CEO, Liquid Wind.

The project will produce a carbon-neutral liquid fuel, eMethanol which, when used as marine fuel, reduces carbon emissions by 94% compared to current fossil fuels.

Methanol from conventional sources is already being used as a fuel in several existing vessels and green methanol is an ideal way to start reducing emissions immediately and enable carbon neutral shipping. The first facility in Northern Sweden will be producing eMethanol in 2024 and the partnership has ambitions for 500 facilities by 2050 – preventing 50m tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

UK company Carbon Clean is a developer of carbon capture technology and a key partner in the Liquid Wind project. Carbon Clean’s technology will capture biogenic CO2 emissions from a local industrial site to be combined with renewable hydrogen to form the carbon-neutral liquid fuel, eMethanol. Carbon capture technology will be critical to help companies meet net zero targets and enable hard to abate industries — including steel, cement, and refineries – to reduce emissions.


Cross-country and industry partnerships are key

Electric Digger

Be it reducing emissions in shipping or heavy industry, none of us can do this alone. It is encouraging to see increasing numbers of consortia coming together to tackle the challenges posed in hard to abate sectors. Cross-border and industry collaboration is required to achieve more ambitious sustainability targets. Together, countries and companies can make a huge impact, contributing to both businesses and to the climate in the race to net-zero. 

The UK is home to innovative companies, like Carbon Clean, with technologies to support industrial decarbonisation in hard to abate sectors. 

Contact the UK's Department for International Trade (DIT) to find out more about opportunities in Clean Growth.