To align with the Paris Agreement goal, international shipping needs to reduce its GHG emissions by up to 1.1 GtCO₂e by 2050 (using IMO analysis). To achieve this, strong international and national level regulations and policies may be needed, together with investment in low-carbon technology. IMO projections for the shipping sector demonstrate a significant opportunity for the Voluntary Carbon Market: to finance projects that are currently unfeasible, to incentivise lower-carbon decision making or to compensate for emissions that cannot yet be abated. By 2050, the VCM could help the sector to remove the residual 0.4 MtCO₂e unabated emissions in the IMO target scenario. Carbon ratings are a key tool to help the shipping industry to navigate the VCM.