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Marine Engineers Messenger, Volume 3, Issue 54


MEM MARINE ENGINEERS MESSENGER Telegraph Eighty-two. That’s how old I’ll be when shipping will be as clean as the proverbial whistle. In truth, it won’t be that clean, only 50% clean, so not really clean at all. But heyho, we’re making an effort, aren’t we? Of course, the MEPC 72 decision last week to reduce shipping industry emissions by half the amount they were in 2008 is all well and good, but by 2050, the industry will still be spewing out a lot of carbon - unless a completely new clean energy source has been found by then. In 2007, before shipping approached the economic doldrums, compelling many to save fuel costs and slow steam, global shipping was estimated to have emitted about 885 million tonnes of CO2 - 2.8% of the CO2 emitted worldwide for that year. Five years later, in 2012, it emitted 796 million tonnes of CO2, which accounted for 2.2% of the total global CO2. (Containerships accounted for about 25% of shipping’s carbon footprint.) That’s a reduction of 89 million tonnes. So, if the same level of reduction is applied, then the shipping industry is on target but it will still be emitting 350 million tonnes or so in 2050. Any decision to reduce shipping’s impact on the environment is welcome, of course it is, but what bothers me is just how will the industry undertake this mamoth task, and more to the point, who will pay for it? While it is wholly right that the International Maritime Organisation has taken steps to reduce emissions with a clearly defined set of goals, it must now look at practical ways to meet the target. IMO must work with Adminstrations, NGOs, Class, industry associations and shipowners to understand the best technical and operational solutions available. The mandatory scrapping of older tonnage and the mandatory retrofitting of new, cleaner engines or technologies capable of reducing fuel consumption dramatically are options, while orders for ships that use renewabale energy sources, such as wind power, are likely to increase over the next decade. But whatever technical solution is adopted, it has to be capable of reducing shipping’s carbon footprint by 17.8 million tonnes year-on-year for the next thirty-two years. And that’s a lot of carbon. The longer we dilly dally, the harder it will be to clean up, and the more costly it will become. MEM Contacts: MEM Issue 54 15 April 2018 Editorial: 0208 339 6149 Advertising/Subscriptions: 0208 339 6183 Production: Publisher: Seaborne Communications Ltd Website: The information published in MEM does not necessarily represent the views of Seaborne Communications Ltd. The publisher makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy or correctness of the information or accepts responsibility for any loss, damage or other liability pertaining to the information published in this newsletter. ©2018 Seaborne Communications Ltd ADVERTISE HERE AND REACH OUT TO AN MEM COMMUNITY OF MORE THAN 8000 MARINE ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS For more information about our cost-effective advertising rates Email: or visit 3