The United Nations special envoy for the Ocean has called on shipping to decarbonise totally by the end of the century.
Speaking at the Nor-Shipping Opening Oceans Conference in Copenhagen, Peter Thomson said that while the recently agreed target of achieving a 50% CO2 emission cut based on 2008 levels by 2050 was applaudable, he said technology and power sources need to be developed now to achieve a totally carbon free industry by 2100.
Solutions, he said, need to be broad and innovative and shipping needs to be fully engaged and responsible.
The agreement reached at the recent marine environment protection committee at the IMO has shown that shipping can reach consensus on tough decisions and Thomson believes this will hold the shipping industry in good stead as it leads the way in creating a sustainable ocean economy that meets the expectations of the UN sustainable development goals
The UN Sustainable development goals, there are 17 of them, were agreed in 2015 and came into force the next year. They are not binding, but have rapidly become the benchmark for many areas of development. One in particular, SDG14, called Life Below Water, has a direct connection to shipping and other ocean economies as it calls for the conservation and sustainable use the oceans, seas and marine resources, while the 13th goal on climate change urges governments to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Change is a constant, said Thomspn and all things must pass, he said, referring to the need to end the age of the diesel engine so the age of renewable energy can become a reality.
“The warning hooters have sounded for shipping,” he said reiterating his message that the greening is a must.