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UK CHAMBER OF SHIPPING ANNUAL REVIEW 2012-2013


THE MISSING LINKS


WHY AN HOLISTIC APPROACH IS CRUCIAL TO REDUCING CARBON EMISSIONS FROM SHIPS


Joined-up thinking on


environmental regulation is essential to


avoid harming the fundamental goal of carbon reduction


David Balston,


Director of Safety and Environment


T


he global impact of climate change is the most urgent environmental challenge the world faces. Nothing comes


even remotely close. The consequences of our failure to halt and preferably reverse the levels of carbon emissions in the atmosphere are potentially catastrophic for the planet. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is, therefore, one of the most important issues facing the shipping industry worldwide. Despite shipping being the most


carbon efficient means of transportation, contributing just 2.7 per cent of GHGs globally, the sector is committed to playing its part. The UK Chamber has led the debate by publishing two important papers suggesting ways in which this can be done.1 Significant progress has already been made, with international shipping on course to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by 2020. And the sector is driving forward further carbon reductions, through introducing innovative technologies and adapting operating methods.


8 CHAMPIONING AND PROTECTING Challenges


Meeting the myriad of environmental regulations is hugely challenging, particularly the design and technical problems in fitting into one vessel scrubbers to remove sulphur oxides (SOx), catalytic converters to reduce nitrous oxides (NOx), emission monitoring equipment, ballast water treatment systems, particulate matter filters and many other pieces of equipment. With the best of intentions, environmental regulators, siloed in their own areas of specialism, all too often are unable to have a comprehensive perspective and fail to assess potentially negative consequences of environmental policies in other areas. Without a robust, holistic impact assessment, one solution to an environmental issue can unwittingly contribute to a negative impact on carbon emissions elsewhere – undermining the overall goal of global carbon reduction. There are many examples of this, not


least the regulations pertaining to sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions. There is a clear and unequivocal need to reduce emissions of SOx from shipping for both environmental


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