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Is there a right way of reducing carbon emissions?

New technologies are recommended, but do not overlook the seafarers

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) advocated a zero-carbon emissions target for shipping by 2050, claiming the energy transition can benefit seafarers if done in the right way. Question is, is there ever a right way?

Not without realism
Stephen Cotton, ITF’s labour representative on the board of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) was emphasising on how seafarers would benefit from reduced carbon emissions provided they are carried out collectively. He said in the presence of business and government leaders, including top CEOs and Prime Ministers: “We have a massive task in front of us, to arrest the climate crisis. However, from a labour perspective: if done right, the transition to zero carbon industries can be a big opportunity for workers – for decent pay, better jobs, and safer workplaces.” Cotton also lobbied for ambition, positivity and realism for seafarers’ benefits.

While he steadfastly campaigned for ambitious carbon emission reductions, Cotton reminded all to be mindful about the need for both industries and governments to act. “Global emissions targets will not be met without actions in shipping. The industry needs to act, and governments need to set firm sectoral targets to reach zero emissions either multilaterally in the IMO, or by including shipping as part of their own emissions caps committed to in Paris,” he stressed. Cotton also warned about the dangers of failing to consider the implications from new technologies on seafarers in terms of operation aptitude, safety and training.

Cotton concluded, “Workers must be at the table that determines their futures, because to transform our economy to tackle this challenge we need everyone with us. This means seafarers represented at all levels from the workplace to international meetings like Conference of the Parties (COP). Workers cannot be a climate afterthought.” It would be a long shot if that is defined as “the right way”.


Crewing Online News Team
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