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As the shipping industry faces pressure to cut climate-altering greenhouse gases, one answer is blowing in the wind.Maersk pledged this week to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050, which will require developing commercially viable carbon neutral vessels by the end of next decade.The shipping sector's interest in "sail tech" and other ideas took on greater urgency after the International Maritime Organization, the U.N.'s maritime agency, reached an agreement in April to slash emissions by 50 percent by 2050 .Ships belch out nearly 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year, accounting for 2-3 percent of global greenhouse gases.Notoriously resistant to change, the maritime shipping industry is facing up to the need to cut its use of cheap but dirty "bunker fuel" that powers the global fleet of 50,000 vessels the backbone of world trade.It refueled a container vessel in September with 22,000 liters of used cooking oil on behalf of five customers, in what it called a world first that cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 tons.Wind power is also feasible, especially if vessels sail more slowly.Overall, the company says it can cut fuel consumption by 7-10 percent.The company predicts that the "Seawing" will reduce fuel use by 20 percent on the 13-day journey.
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