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Cargill, one of the largest global charterers of ships, announced the company will test wind sails on bulk vessels carrying commodity goods early next year in efforts to reduce its carbon emissions. 

The Wayzata-based company, which is the largest privately held corporation in the nation, said it'll pilot two 120-foot-high rigid wind sales made of steel and composite glass. 

Cargill has up to 700 ships on the water at any one time, according to the company. Around 90% of the vessels are used to transport dry bulk commodities. 

BAR Technologies designed the prototype sails, which are being manufactured by Yara Marine Technologies, according to a company spokesperson. The sails will be outfitted on a 751-foot-long carrier that Cargill charters and Mitsubishi Corp. owns. 

The sails could help cut emissions on a new-build ship optimized for wind by as much as 30%, which equates to about 6,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to Cargill. 

If the trial is successful, Cargill plans to retrofit as many as 10 more ships. 

The number of commercial vessels using wind-powered innovations is expected to double by the end of 2023, according to Bloomberg

"We hope to learn from this trial to continue to improve how we can become the prime operator of wind assisted propulsion vessels as part of our journey to net zero," a Cargill spokesperson told Bring Me The News. 

The shipping industry accounts for around 3% of global carbon emissions, according to S&P Global, which is comparable to the aviation industry. 

BMTN Note: The broader trend of increasingly severe weather and record-breaking extremes seen in Minnesota and across the globe can be attributed directly to the rapidly warming climate caused by human activity. The IPCC has warned that Earth is "firmly on track toward an unlivable world," and says greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030 in order to limit warming to 1.5C, which would prevent the most catastrophic effects on humankind. You can read more here.

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