UK supermajor BP has joined the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping as a strategic partner to join the challenge of reducing emissions from the shipping sector.

BP confirmed Tuesday it had signed a partnership agreement with the research centre, committing to a long-term collaboration on the development of new alternative fuels and low carbon solutions for the shipping industry.

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BP noted the shipping industry accounts for roughly 3% of global emissions and the long-term goal of decarbonising the industry will require new fuel types and “a systemic and regulatory change within the industry”, with new legislation needed to enable the transition towards decarbonisation.

BP will also join the “Center Advisory Board”, which it said would see it provide guidance for transition strategies and help further develop the Center’s activities.

“The shipping industry’s transition to net zero is complex and requires technology advancements and policies that will give companies across the value chain the confidence to act,” said William Lin, BP’s executive vice president of regions, cities and solutions.

“This is a privileged opportunity to collaborate and advocate with key industry players to progress solutions at the pace and scale needed. When we work together, we can fast track development, de-risk investments and provide signals to the market that will speed up the decarbonisation of the shipping industry.”

In welcoming BP, Center chief executive Bo Cerup-Simonsen said: “We share the same high ambitions and sense of urgency when it comes to creating real climate action and I look very much forward to the collaboration.

“BP brings extensive expertise in production, storage, handling, transportation and usage of fuels and great experience in driving safety and efficiency in shipping. I see enormous potential in leveraging and applying this knowhow to accelerate the development of future net-zero solutions for the maritime industry.”

BP is the latest supermajor to take on an increased role in decarbonising the shipping industry, with Shell just last week signing a long-term memorandum of understanding with the Mediterranean Shipping Company.

The pair will look to develop a range of technologies that could reduce emissions from existing assets and seek to "enable a net-zero emissions future" for shipping.