International coalition looking to ‘accelerate energy transition in transport’

Eleven major international companies have formed a coalition in order to ‘accelerate the energy transition in transport and logistics’ and they are now working on nine ‘concrete projects’ which include green hydrogen and biofuels plans.

The members of the Coalition for the Energy of the Future announced their plans following meetings at the Rencontres Économiques d’Aix-en-Provence economic forum.

The founder members of the coalition include: AWS, Carrefour Group, CMA CGM Group, Cluster Maritime Français, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Engie, Faurecia, Michelin, Schneider Electric, Total and Wärtsilä.

Rodolphe Saadé, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, called on the French President Emmanuel Macron to help ‘initiate an international coalition for the energy transition of the transportation sector’ during the French Maritime Economy Conference which was held in Marseille-Fos in December.

In a statement issued on Friday (3 July) and posted on the Total website, the Coalition members said that they are ‘pooling their expertise in pursuit of three key goals’: unlock a more extensive portfolio of clean energy sources; lowering energy consumption per kilometre-equivalent of goods transported; and eliminating a substantial proportion of emissions linked to transport and logistics.

They added that nine ‘concrete projects’ devised by its nine working groups have already set up.

The projects will aim to:

  • Develop green hydrogen procurement solutions for the transport sector,
  • Develop biofuels for the various modes of transport,
  • Expand the use of biogas and synthetic gases in transport,
  • Replace fossil fuels with green energy across the supply chain,
  • Launch zero-emission vehicle pilot projects by the end of 2021,
  • Create a digital door-to-door route planning system that calculates the option with the lowest environmental impact,
  • Optimise the operational management and loading to step up the energy efficiency of each ton carried,
  • Make multimodal platforms more environmentally friendly for logistics applications,
  • Consolidate methods used to measure the impact of energy transition projects in transport and logistics. 

The Coalition’s initial findings will be officially presented in January 2021 at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

Rodolphe Saade, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, commented: ‘In view of the challenges facing the world, we must unite our strengths in order to accelerate the energy transition of the transport and logistics industry. I am delighted that 11 global corporations, leaders in their respective fields, have joined this initiative. CMA CGM will provide all its expertise and experience to this first large global multisectoral coalition, supported by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron. We are all fully mobilized to produce concrete short, medium-and-long-term solutions.’

Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total, declared: ‘Total shares the ambition to get to net-zero emissions by 2050, together with society, for its global business across its production and energy products used by its customers. By joining the Coalition for the energy of the future alongside major partners, we intend to support and accelerate the joint development of tangible energy solutions, therefore directly contributing to the reduction of carbon intensity of the transportation and logistics sectors.’

Jaakko Eskola, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wärtsilä, focused on the Coalition’s relevance to the maritime community: ‘The shipping industry’s transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy use is a movement in which we at Wärtsilä continue to play a leading role. Through the development of smart technologies, research into alternative future fuels, and our holistic approach to raising efficiencies in all aspects of shipping and port operations to create a Smart Marine Ecosystem, we have shown our commitment to promoting decarbonization. We are, therefore, proud to be part of this coalition which perfectly aligns with our purpose to enable sustainable societies with smart technology.’

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes