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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: What the ‘code red’ climate report means for shipping

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

The consensus findings of the world’s leading climate scientists were issued this week as a ‘code red for humanity’. We are already too late to avert dangerous climate change and can only now manage the amount by which we overshoot our stated target, argues our guest on this week’s podcast, the leading climate expert of low-carbon shipping Dr Tristan Smith. He joins Lloyd’s List Editor Richard Meade to discuss the IPCC report, what it means for shipping, why LNG is going to get more expensive and whether there is any optimism he can offer as we consider shipping’s difficult transition to zero carbon

 

THIS week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body convened by the United Nations, released its latest assessment of global warming

It has been variously described as a wake-up call governments and a ‘code red’ for planet earth, but it essentially confirms what the scientific community has been sure of for some time now — namely that the world cannot avoid some devastating impacts of climate change.

The report, which is based on the analysis of more than 14,000 studies, is the clearest and most comprehensive summary yet of the physical science of climate change.

To avoid the worst of the doomsday scenarios being laid out with depressing clarity would require the whole world, not just rich countries, to get net emissions of carbon dioxide down to zero before 2050.

That’s a tall order, to put it mildly. Even the most ambitious of the many emissions scenarios modelled by the IPCC’s experts offers less than a 50% chance of staying below 1.5°C of heating.

But what does this mean for shipping? Well, for those of you who have already waded through the text you will know that shipping is not being explicitly called out in this report — but the recommendations to regulators are of direct significance to shipping’s decarbonisation timeline and the headline here is that the pressure is on for maritime to speed up efforts.

Dr Tristan Smith, of University College London is a well-known voice on the Lloyd’s List podcast and the industry’s leading academic expert on low-carbon shipping. He joins Lloyd’s List Editor Richard Meade this week to discuss the IPCC report, what it means for shipping, why LNG is going to get more expensive and whether there is any optimism he can offer as we consider shipping’s difficult transition to zero carbon.

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