Shipping’s Quest for Clean Emissions

The maritime industry sees over 600,000 ships sail the oceans of the world, many of which operate on carbon-rich fuels. Heavy diesel is a fuel that releases emissions that have a negative impact on the environment. Not only do these emissions contribute to global warming, but they are also harmful to human health. In order to take a more aggressive stance on environmentally-friendly operations, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) takes action to mandate decarbonization commercial shipping activities.

Increased Shipping Needs

The current shipping industry operations account for about three percent of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions, but over the next 30 years, the new regulations by the IMO are to reduce this number by half. The next few years are slated to have significant growth for the industry since maritime shipping is more efficient than using rail, truck, or air means. Because of this demand, the global emissions problem could climb to the industry account for as much as 17% of the global release.

Compliance Struggles

Though the IMO is serious about creating a better environment, many companies are struggling to adapt to the new regulations. There isn’t enough access or affordability with zero-carbon propulsion technologies. Since companies haven’t been able to effectively convert in order to meet deadlines, reducing shipping speeds has been the temporary solution.

As the industry tries to reconcile processes with demands for cleaner emissions, the consumer may be the one that ends up suffering.