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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Why 2023 is pivotal for the decarbonisation of shipping

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

The case for a shipping industry plan that is aligned to 1.5 degree Paris targets, that is well-to-wake and wrapped up with robust interim targets and the right language that ensures an equitable transition, is clear cut. What we actually end up getting is going to be the multi trillion dollar question that determines the trajectory of shipping regulation for decades to come


This year is going to be pivotal in the race to decarbonise shipping. Come July, the International Maritime Organization is expected to adopt a revised Strategy for Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships.

Now that may not sound particularly seismic, but what is, or is not, agreed in July is going to determine the regulatory landscape of the shipping industry for decades to come.

An agreement that is aligned to the 1.5 degree Paris agreements targets, that is well-to-wake (rather than tank to wake) and wrapped up with the right detail about pathways to 2030, 2040 as well as the headline 2050 goal, and on top of that has all the right language inserted to ensure an equitable transition – well that is the target.

That’s the gold standard that aligns with the climate science and will keep shipping on track.

What we actually end up getting is going to be the multi trillion dollar question.

The further away from this ideal target, the more complex, fragmented and costly it will become for shipping businesses from here on out.

The more ambiguity we have the harder it will be to attract investment and all of the difficult conversations yet to come about market based mechanisms, carbon pricing and fuels – well that becomes more and more difficult the more move away from that targets.

Investment decisions get pushed back because the demand signals are not there and yet again the industry has lost another five years waiting for the next policy review to correct the last sets fudges and so the can gets kicked down the road and several key member states start disappearing underwater.


Speaking on this week’s edition:

  • Katharine Palmer - Shipping Lead, UN Climate Champions team

  • Susan Ruffo - Senior ocean and climate advisor at un foundation

  • Aoife O'Leary - Head of Opportunity Green, a non-profit using law & economics to solve international climate issues






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