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Some Days, You Can’t Win For Trying

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One of shipping’s greatest environmental achievements was the pivot the industry made in adopting and implementing IMO2020- the reduction of fuel sulphur content from 3.5% to 0.5%. While it didn’t garner much public attention, it was remarkable that it was accomplished seamlessly and effectively.

Now it looks as though shipping is being tagged as the bad guy for being good.

Sulphur emissions were costing port community residents health and lives, not to mention its contributions to acid rain and environmental damage. It was projected that over half a million lives would be saved by 2025 through IMO2050. A good thing, no?

Apparently not. Some environmentalists are trying to promote the argument that shipping’s sulfur emissions were keeping the planet cooler, and its reduction has led to the increase in water temperatures. Because we as an industry do not have a collective voice, we are low hanging fruit when it comes to challenging our practices—even the well-intentioned ones.

We need to continue to take action to mitigate our impact on the planet; billions of dollars and other resources are being dedicated to that goal. But we also need to trumpet this intention and execution. Yes, we need to look at the issue from the standpoint of “net environmental impact”, but we also need to ensure that public interests understand our value proposition to global society and our efforts to be good citizens.

As Kermit the Frog said—it’s not easy bein’ green.

Keep optimizing,

Carleen Lyden Walker
Chief Evolution Officer
IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador
+1 203 255 4686 (o)
+1 203 260 0480 (m)

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