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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Why sustainable shipping is about more than just carbon reduction

Listen to the latest edition of Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

Sustainability is about more than carbon reduction, but we are currently evaluating the shift to new fuels on the basis of price, availability and technical feasibility. The ability to provide transportation infrastructure and services that are safe, socially inclusive, accessible, reliable, affordable, fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly, low-carbon and resilient to shocks and disruptions including those caused by climate change and natural disasters — that’s a much bigger conversation. Are we as an industry genuinely looking for real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or is this simply a question of tick box accounting? This week’s podcast looks for a more holistic discussion on shipping’s sustainability challenge with an international panel of experts from Lloyd’s Register, China Navigation and WWF.

THE shipping industry has no shortage of discussions purporting to be about sustainability, but there is a case to be made that we are having the wrong discussions.

They are certainly too often too narrow and performed in isolation.

Selecting zero- and low-carbon marine fuels is not just about the narrow aspects that are to be regulated, nor are they just about what comes out of a ship’s smoke stack.

Price, availability and technical feasibility — that’s all on the agenda right now. But to be truly sustainable over an entire lifecycle are we including sufficient consideration of the operations around the production, transport, storage, handling and use of marine fuels? Have we considered social, labour and human rights, ecological impacts? Safety? Land use change?

The shipping industry’s impressively ineffective history of regulatory progress can be read as a series of reactive measure closing doors after the proverbial horse has bolted, and almost always done in blind isolation from the unintended, but generally unconsidered consequences of their actions.

In a special extended edition of the Lloyd’s list Podcast this week, Editor Richard Meade is joined by an international panel of guests prepared to lift their heads sufficiently to consider the bigger picture of sustainability when it comes to shipping’s zero carbon transition.

Speaking on this week’s edition are:

•            Katharine Palmer, Global Sustainability Manager at Lloyd’s Register

•            Mark Lutes, Senior Advisor on Global Climate Policy at WWF’s Climate and Energy Practice

•            Simon Bennett, General Manager for Sustainable Development at The China Navigation Company

During the discussion the group references the white paper Defining sustainability criteria for zero and low carbon marine fuels which sets out sustainability issues and principles surrounding marine fuels under consideration for shipping’s decarbonisation. The paper, published by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative and Lloyd’s Register, can be accessed here.

Sign up now for the second webinar in the Lloyd's List Future of Shipping programme, titled ‘How to decarbonise shipping

Across the year, The Future of Shipping series will gather industry leaders, policy-makers, investors, financiers and sector experts to offer a unique programme of informed analysis and intelligent debate. For more information, to watch the first webinar on digitalisation on-demand and to register for the other events in the series, follow this link.

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