Categories: Business, International Maritime OrganisationPublished On: 21.05.2018326 words1.6 min read

Laura Grant discusses the impact of the ‘eco trend’ on the shipping industry and how the IMO’s call for a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 can be achieved.

Grant says:

‘It’s no longer an option to be naïve about the impact you are having on the planet, whether that be on a personal or business level. The shipping industry has started to make some changes, with the IMO recently announcing that a 50% reduction in carbon emissions must be reached by 2050. Although this is a cut on the 100% reduction which was called for by the European Union and Pacific Islands, the IMO justifies this by stating that 50% should be the minimum we strive for and the closer we are to 100% the better.

‘Much like 5p levy on plastic bags, the IMO is floating the idea of a carbon tax on fuel, to encourage ship owners to pick the eco option. How successful this is will likely depend on whether the tax outweighs the potential extra cost of being eco.

‘This decision follows the news released on 4 April, that Hamburg Sud and Electrolux are joining forces to cut sulphur dioxide emissions in ports. Interestingly, Bjorn Vang Jensen, Vice President of Global Logistics at Electrolux, commented that:

“Sulphur dioxide emissions are a major environmental issue in some of the communities around port cities where we ship our products. With this partnership, we are showing how the industry can move faster than legislation to improve the air quality in ports, and we hope more companies will get onboard.”

‘Jensen’s comments pose the question on whether the 50% reduction to carbon emissions really is reasonable, given the 32 years available to implement these changes and the rate of technological advances. One thing that is clear, however, is that shipowners are going to have to act promptly, not only in terms of compliance but also ensuring they are not the last ones to jump onboard.’

Source:, 21 May 2018