If addressing the climate crisis takes precedence, it may change the face of seafaring
2 days to the end of COP26 had industry observers wondering if commercial interests will outweigh environmental concerns. It would not be wrong to say the future of maritime industry is determined by today’s actions, provided it include seafarers’ involvement.
Today’s actions will determine tomorrow’s futures
Since 31 October 2021, delegates have been harping about rising temperatures, aggravated by the United Nations’ (UN) World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) alerts of warming ahead. Days to the COP26, the UN’s WMO issued something more pressing for the maritime industry to act upon. Its GHG Bulletin showed the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020 – nearly 150 per cent of the pre-industrial level. The last time Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3-5 million years ago, when the temperature was 2-3°C warmer and sea level was 30-60ft (9-18m) higher than today.
Industry observers have resigned to the fact that meeting net zero targets are not achievable at this point. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) would be revisiting its original targets – cut emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, and achieve carbon neutrality before 2100. The elephant in the room remained because of trade and multilateral relations.
Additionally, adopting green solutions in shipping is also a process that takes time for migration. Seafarers are frontline maritime personnel and they should take precedence in any decisions related to the transition, especially training. Would stakeholders be willing to invest in their manpower to facilitate a good transition or “this can wait”?
Putting it in perspective, transition involves anything from research, technology development and piloting, and in no terms should seafarers be omitted. This group should be a part of the heavily campaigned collective efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. It is also pivotal for individuals who are considering a seafaring career.
Crewing Online News Team
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