It isn’t that shipping hasn’t been working to address its emissions. We have been working for years to overcome the challenges of a global industry utilizing capital intensive assets trying to pivot towards technologies that are still in their nascent stages. Further, it seems as though once a particular strategy begins to gain traction, we find its weaknesses, like LNG and methane slip.
Nevertheless, we don’t have the luxury of time and must take action while we wait for the development of alternatives, such as hydrogen and nuclear, to become applicable to shipping. Fuel additives that improve combustion, for instance, are a tool to reduce emissions as are digital assets that maximize fuel utilization and improve routing and speed efficiencies.
Further, we need to harmonize our approach. Yes, we are historically a highly fragmented industry, but with the need for infrastructure support and operational standardization, it is important to coalesce around a minimal number of solutions.
COP 26 is approaching in Glasgow where one of the focal points will be shipping. It will not be a recognition that shipping is the engine of global trade but will rather be critical of the emissions coming from that engine. It is vital that we demonstrate that we are taking action NOW as we harmonize our approach to the future.