A new survey from the IMarEST and Marine Professional shows solid support for decarbonisation targets, but less certainty about how to achieve them.
The challenge shipping faces is undoubtedly a tough one. How can the industry move towards decarbonisation in the drive to meet the stringent IMO targets to cut emissions? After all, with the climate change crisis we are facing, action is urgently needed.
Our survey of 550 professionals delved into this at the end of 2020. It was timely, following the January 2020 introduction of the IMO 0.5% sulphur cap under MARPOL – a move designed to make shipping cleaner sooner rather than later.
Yet, as we highlighted last year, shipping emissions have been increasing. IMO’s fourth study into greenhouse gases, published last summer, showed that among the culprits was black carbon, which rose 12%. There was also an eye-watering 150% increase in methane emissions, likely driven by LNG uptake and methane slip.
Decarbonisation is a must, but what fuels do we need to transition to – and what is holding us up from getting there? We asked – here are what respondents told us.
6 main obstacles
Fuel for debate: what is likely to be the fuel of choice by 2050?
The resounding message from the survey is that the transition to low carbon fuel needs a balanced mix of market forces and regulation.
Survey respondents, of course, differed in their individual views:
“Regulation can do more than just outright ban a fuel, a tax on heavily polluting fuels provides a financial incentive for ship owners to consider low carbon fuels,” said one.
With just over half (53%) of people believing that the IMO timetable to halve shipping’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 is achievable, there is clearly much to do.
The full survey results are published in Issue 1, 2021 of Marine Professional magazine.