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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Does decarbonised shipping feel safe to you?

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

Moving to a multi-fuel future with multiple fuel infrastructures and supply chains is going to require a wholesale reappraisal of risk and safety standards across various industries, but has that been the priority in the race to decarbonise? Lloyd’s Register chief executive Nick Brown and Dr Ruth Boumphrey, chief executive of Lloyd’s Register Foundation, discuss why safety needs to be at the heart of shipping’s green agenda

 

UNSAFE shipping is not the clarion call of the environmental pirate, gleefully operating leaky ships with impunity risking the lives of crew for the hell of it. 

Safety is the problem that happens when nobody is paying attention. 

Which is why is perhaps concerning that safety has, until relatively recently, not figured as a particularly high-profile part of discussions about decarbonisation. 

It’s mentioned, of course it is, but we are collectively willing to enter into detailed debates and consider highly technical studies examining the energy density of every shade of zero-carbon fuel alternatives, and yet the safety risks are too often mentioned as an engineering afterthought. 

And this is not just a concern about the toxicity of ammonia or the flammability of hydrogen. 

The industry is effectively planning a project that sees the entire infrastructure, fuel type and systems in place — which we have established hard-won standards and protocol around over many decades — effectively being reinvented within the space of a few years.

Moving to a multi-fuel future, with multiple fuel infrastructures and supply chains, is going to require a wholesale reappraisal of risk and safety standards across multiple industries, and that is before we even start thinking about the training implications at sea and on land. 

The question for this week’s edition of the podcast is whether this has been foremost in our minds during the unending discussions about the politics, pricing and availability of a zero-carbon future.

Two people who have been thinking about this at the top of their agenda are Nick Brown, chief executive of Lloyd’s Register Group and Dr Ruth Boumphrey, chief executive of Lloyd’s Register Foundation, who join the conversation with Lloyd’s List editor Richard Meade this week to get some much needed perspective on this issue.

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