Challenges in adoption of green technology in shipping

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

25 January 2018

Over two thirds (68%) of the global marine industry executives believe that a lack of uniform international environmental regulations will impede the adoption of green technologies in shipping, according to a new report from global law firm Clyde & Co and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), which surveyed 220 marine industry executives from across the world.

Clyde & Co explains that some international maritime conventions, which target environmental protection, do exist. One ongoing example is the global sulphur emissions limit, which forces ship operators to use fuel on board with a sulphur content of no more than 3.5% m/m. This limit is set to be reduced further in 2020 to 0.5% m/m.

Another is the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, which came into force in September 2017 and is aimed at controlling the transfer of potentially invasive species.

Ballast water is often taken on-board by ships for stability and can contain thousands of marine microbes, plants and animals. Untreated ballast water released at the ship’s destination could potentially introduce a new invasive marine species.

Under the convention, all ships in international traffic are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard, according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan.