Shipping in an Eco World.


The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the original author or contributor. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the UK P&I Club.

You cannot escape the "Eco trend" that's taking over. It is no longer an option to be naïve about the impact you are having on the planet, whether that be on a personal or business level. We are forced to question our decisions on a daily basis with dilemmas such as; "Do I really need to pay 5p for that plastic bag or will it fit in my own?"

It's no surprise therefore that the shipping industry has had to start making some changes, or at least promising to make them in the future. Friday 13th April saw the IMO announce that a 50% reduction in carbon emissions must be reached by 2050, a cut on the 100% reduction which was called for by the European Union and Pacific Islands. However, the IMO justifies this by stating that although the regulated reduction is 50%, this should be the minimum we strive for and the closer we are to 100% the better.

Much like 5p plastic bags, the IMO is floating the idea of a carbon tax on fuel, to encourage ship owners to pick the eco option. How successful this is will likely depend on whether the tax outweighs the potential extra cost of being eco.

This decision follows the news released on 4th April, that Hamburg Sud and Electrolux are joining forces to cut sulphur dioxide emissions in ports. Interestingly Bjorn Vang Jensen (Vice President of Global Logistics at Electrolux) commented that; "Sulfur dioxide emissions are a major environmental issue in some of the communities around port cities where we ship our products. With this partnership, we are showing how the industry can move faster than legislation to improve the air quality in ports, and we hope more companies will get on board."

Given Jensen's comments, it poses the question on whether the 50% reduction to carbon emissions really is reasonable; given the 32 years available to implement these changes and the rate of technological advances.

One thing that is clear however, is that ship owners are going to have to act promptly, not only in terms of compliance but also ensuring they are not the last ones to jump on board. With events such as the Green Maritime Forum we are now able to celebrate those who are making positive changes and we are happy to see that two of our Members, Carnival Corporation & PLC and Hapag Lloyd AG were nominated for Greenest Ship Owner of the Year in April.

What do you make of the current changes, do you think the regulations are fair or should they be stricter? Let us know on Twitter!


Staff Author