Shipping in Changing Climates closes

A UK-funded research project looking at the need to decarbonise the shipping industry has come to a close. But with much work to do in understanding how the industry can progress towards decarbonisation the research team behind the studies of the Shipping In Changing Climates project have said the work has to continue.

SCC was funded by a £3.5m Research Council UK grant and ran for about three and a half years. While the funding period for PhD students and other academic work ran out before the summer the project leaders used London International Shipping Week to hold a closing conference.

The aim of the project was to look at the technology and fuel drivers that can influence the global fleet, while taking into account the markets that impact demand and see how they could interact in the future.

UCL reader and project leader Tristan Smith also said that there is further work, to do in using the very granular research from the studies, , all  of which is available on the project website, into a more holistic way.

To this extent the team are no co operating with Chalmers University in Gothenburg Sweden to help launch an international conference of academic work, and will also be working with the newly formed Global Martime Forum, the Danish initiative that has evolved from the Danish Maritime Forum, into creating a decarbonisation stream of work.

The five universities that took part in the project were University of Southampton, Newcastle University, UCL, University of Manchester and the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. The research was also funded by Shell, Lloyd’s register, BMT Group, and Maritime Strategies International, a forecasting consultancy.

Katharine Palmer, head of sustainability at Lloyd’s Register told the closing conference partners that one of the key elements of continuing the work from the SCC project has to be in understanding how the industry can work towards a decarbonisation rather than what it needs to do or why.

This is particularly true after the UNFCCC Paris Agreement where individual nations have been given the task of identifying their own commitments to reducing CO2 emissions. While shipping, and aviation, were left out of the Paris Agreement the pressure is now on the IMO and industry to create a solid roadmap of its own.

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