The UK Chamber of Shipping says it supports an ambitious strategy to reduce carbon emissions from shipping at the currently held Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 72 meeting.
“People understand that trade brings prosperity, but they rightly demand it is undertaken in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way,” says Guy Platten, CEO of UK Chamber of Shipping.
“The shipping industry has made huge strides in recent years – from battery-powered ferries, to the development of much more efficient engines, to a dramatic increase in the use of lower carbon LNG-fuelled ships – but we have a long way to go.
“That’s why we are supporting a reduction in carbon emissions of at least 50% by 2050 based on 2008 figures.”
According to the organisation, a global reduction strategy for carbon emissions is necessary to ensure a ‘level playing field’ for companies operating in all regions of the world.
The aim is for the shipping industry to pay its fair share and decarbonise in line with the Paris Agreement, while ensuring that international operators remain on an equal competitive footing.
The road to decarbonisation will not be easy, and will also require significant government support, says Platten.
“There is no silver bullet here. Instead, we will reduce our carbon emissions through small marginal gains in a wide range of areas – better hydrodynamics in ship designs; better planning of routes to ensure ships aren’t waiting outside ports for long periods; greater flexibility to avoid bad weather,” he notes.
“But make no mistake: these measures alone will not deliver the significant decrease in carbon emissions necessary. Only the introduction of zero-emission fuels will do that – as is the case across all modes of transport.
“There is no doubt that significant investment in Research and Development will be required – and government has a role to play. Last year the UK Government announced £250m of funding for battery research, particularly for the automotive and energy sectors.
“We know the Government is determined to prove its green credentials. In doing so, they must consider what their role will be in developing the technology necessary for shipping to decarbonise. The industry can and will play its role, but it cannot do it alone.”
Concluding, Platten suggested that compromise will be necessary for International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Member states to reach agreement:
“There are many different views from many different countries. This week it is vital that a compromise is reached. The world is watching, and they expect us to act.”
Photo credit: International Maritime Organisation
Published: 12 April, 2018
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