Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV) is a cargo owner-led platform for collaboration that enables maritime freight customers to come together and use their brand power and economies of scale to accelerate maritime decarbonization.

coZEV is designed as a platform for high ambition cargo owners to collaborate with one another — and others in the supply chain — to bring ambitious leadership to the maritime decarbonization space. No single cargo owner has sufficient market influence to enable decarbonization of the maritime industry alone. So a focused, collective demand signal for rapid decarbonization by climate-forward cargo owners is essential, a need being met through coZEV.

Through coZEV’s focus on the unique role of the cargo owner, companies have the opportunity to come together to call for higher ambition across the shipping value chain, take concrete collective action on decarbonization-related activities and projects, and maximize their positive impact.

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coZEV Vision

Our vision is an international maritime shipping sector that:

  • Offers economically viable maritime freight services powered by zero-emission shipping fuels and technologies at sufficient scale to allow cargo owners to decarbonize their maritime freight by 2040

  • Is aligned with Paris Agreement climate goals, which means that greenhouse gas emissions are virtually eliminated for the entire sector by 2050 at the latest

coZEV Mission

The mission of the coZEV initiative is to provide opportunities for cargo owner companies to collaboratively lead, innovate, and set a high level of ambition toward decarbonization of the maritime sector. In order to accomplish this, coZEV provides a nimble, ambitious, and action-focused platform for climate-forward companies to work with one another — and others in the maritime shipping supply chain — to develop concrete initiatives that accelerate the pace of shipping decarbonization, bring zero-emission fuel and technology solutions to scale, and harness collective cargo owner voice to send demand signals for zero-emission solutions to the shipping value chain and policymakers. Through engagement in the coZEV initiative, cargo owners help shape the zero-emission shipping transition in order to achieve their ambitious climate goals and meet the logistical needs of their global businesses.

coZEV Origin

In 2020, the Aspen Institute Energy & Environment Program launched the Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative to actively engage companies, experts in maritime shipping, and climate advocates to address the significant climate impacts caused by fossil fuel-dependent maritime shipping, and help foster a transition to zero-emission shipping.

It quickly became clear that there was a need and opportunity to engage the shipping industry’s customers, in particular climate leading cargo owners, to help accelerate the pace of change of shipping decarbonization. This led Aspen to work in collaboration with and input from a network of cargo owner companies to develop coZEV, Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels, a platform for climate-forward cargo owner companies to collaborate with one another — and others in the supply chain when appropriate — to develop initiatives to advance maritime decarbonization.

coZEV Partners

coZEV is supported by founding partners from Clean Air Task Force, Environmental Defense Fund, Ocean Conservancy, and University College London/UMAS.

Other valued expert partners include the Global Maritime Forum, C40 Cities, ESP Advisors, Opportunity Green, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Smart Freight Buyers Alliance, and Stephenson Harwood.

Philanthropic support is provided by the ClimateWorks Foundation.

The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program’s Shipping Decarbonization Initiative serves as the facilitator and secretariat of coZEV.

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Ingrid Irigoyen

Director, Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative

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Greg Gershuny

Executive Director, Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program

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Taylor Goelz

Senior Program Manager, Ocean and Climate

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Kathryn Benz

Senior Policy Manager, Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative

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Selena Elmer

Senior Program Manager, Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative

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Alexander Hueser

Operations Lead, Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA)

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Clarke Williams

Senior Communications Manager, Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program

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Meera Kallupura

Senior Program Associate, Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative

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Emily Engel

Program Assistant, Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative


Annabella Ronca

Program Assistant, Aspen Shipping Decarbonization Initiative