Maritime ports and logistics giant DP World has signed an agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to work on solutions to decarbonise the shipping and port industry. 

The agreement will see IRENA support DP World in growing efforts to address the challenges with using renewable-based fuels and electrified infrastructure and continue aligning current processes with the demands of the energy transition to a more sustainable industry. 

DP World Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem described the partnership as a chance to work towards a “shared vision” of a global supply chain powered by renewable energy as the company looks to reach its net zero target by 2040. 

He said: “Together, we will drive meaningful change and set new standards for a greener future. We continue to integrate renewable energy into DP World’s business operations across our global footprint. 

“IRENA’s work towards the tripling of renewable energy capacity by 2030 means it will be an important partner for us as we continue on DP World’s own decarbonisation journey – both in the region and around the world.” 

IRENA, an intergovernmental agency and official UN observer, signed the agreement with DP World at the company’s headquarters in Dubai as the city builds up to hosting the UN’s COP28 event on climate change. 

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By GlobalData

The partnership’s focus on infrastructure follows in the footsteps of IRENA’s 2023 World Energy Transitions Outlook which highlighted the need to ensure global infrastructure is prepared to accommodate the necessary changes to achieve meaningful reductions in emissions. 

IRENA Director General Francesco La Camera said: “To align with the goals of the Paris Agreement and meet the demands of a transforming energy landscape, we must overcome existing infrastructure barriers, including in shipping and ports. 

“By partnering with DP World, we aim to transform these sectors, making them more conducive to the global energy transition, where renewables-based fuels will play an increasingly prominent role.” 

In addition to changing infrastructure, IRENA will also encourage DP World’s use of new fuels such as ammonia, methanol and hydrogen, which it says will make up nearly 61% of the fuel mix by 2050. 

Notably, the company’s Southampton Port claimed to be the first in the UK to remove fossil fuel-based diesel from its operations in 2022, leading to a reported 55% reduction in carbon emissions at the beginning of this year.