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Decarbonisation of shipping offers plenty of opportunities, but beware the risks

Lloyd’s List webinar hears that the opportunities offered to the commercial shipping sector by the push for decarbonisation are many. However, first movers must be supported, and seafarers trained

Lloyd’s List webinar on opportunities and the cost of the transition to zero-carbon shipping

THE transition to zero-carbon shipping will bring new opportunities for investment, new impetus for technology, and new engagement with society.

However, in this Lloyd’s List webinar, sponsored by Lloyd’s Register and AXA XL, we hear that the transition must be undertaken with care.

Safety is foremost. Sharing experiences gained from consuming new fuels, training seafarers to handle these fuels correctly, and making sure production of fuels does not create unnecessary harm to the environment must all be considered at every step.

Speakers raise several issues that are often overlooked when the discussion is narrowed to which fuels and which technologies will have the greatest impact.

Among these issues are protecting first movers who invest and share data for the good of the industry and building a skills base to work with the fuels and technologies.

They argue that greater effort is needed to explain to a non-maritime audience the potential benefits of more controversial fuels such as nuclear and biofuel.

It is agreed that much more could be done to bring propulsion technologies to market and develop efficiency technologies to a higher level of maturity.

Many years of cheap fuel oil has led to a belief that there is little benefit in cutting the amount of fuel consumed, one speaker says, but with some alternative fuels likely to cost four times more than conventional fuel, this attitude will have to change.

While there is some debate over whether the real opportunities will come in the form of investment, technology, or community readiness, speakers are unanimous in expressing concern about a shift in target timeline from 2050 to 2040 was achievable.

Such a shortening would create significant risks to the industry, they agree.

The speakers conclude that there is much to be enthusiastic about the way shipping has embraced the transformation. The industry is in a much better place than it was five years ago, and there are clear opportunities for a cleaner, greener form of transportation.

There are risks for the unwary and likely significant costs for all players, whatever the sector and geography, but the need for shipping to do its bit to meet climate change targets is fully accepted.

Listen to an industry expert panel discuss the opportunities and costs of shipping’s transition to zero-carbon, with:

• Charles Haskell, decarbonisation programme manager at Lloyd’s Register;
• Sundeep Khera, global head of hull and head of marine, UK and Lloyd’s at AXA XL;
• Eleni Polychronopoulou, president of METIS Cyberspace Technology;
• Himanshu Chopra, managing director at Anglo-Eastern (UK) Ship Management.

 

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