HALIFAX—Canadians would prefer to see ships powered by zero-emission fuels over liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to a new survey conducted by Abacus Data and commissioned by Oceans North.

The shipping industry powers the global economy: by volume, most of the world’s goods travel via ship. However, these vessels also produce around 1 billion tonnes of carbon per year. Decarbonizing the shipping sector is an essential part of fighting climate change.

Some have suggested the industry could use LNG as a “bridge fuel” on the way to zero emissions. But beyond the fact that switching to LNG may not actually help fight climate change, this would require building LNG-powered ships and fuel facilities that would last past 2050—the year at which Canada has committed to reach zero-emission shipping.

“The idea that we can lock in fossil fuel infrastructure for decades to come and still meet our climate goals isn’t supported by the data,” says Brent Dancey, the Director of Marine Climate Action at Oceans North. “And it’s not supported by Canadians, either.”

The results build on initial findings released last week that showed support across regions, political affiliations and age groups for investments in zero-emission ports. “As concern about climate change intensifies—and I suspect it will as extreme weather, wildfires, and drought increase in both frequency and intensity—support for a quicker energy transition will increase,” says David Coletto, Chair and CEO of Abacus Data.

A key part of this transition will be developing “green shipping corridors” that promote the use of low– and zero-emission fuels between ports. A recent study found that Canada’s natural resources, trained workforce and location could make it a leader in this emerging industry.

“We don’t have time for half measures,” Dancey says. “Canadians want to see urgent action on climate change—and that means developing the fuels of the future.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Alex Tesar
Communications Manager
[email protected]

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