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Fourth Propulsion Revolution: ICS reaches beyond the shipping community

A packed house of delegates was confronted yesterday with the reality of powering global trade without the use of fossil fuels.

16 September 2019

At the International Chamber of Shipping’s 2019 Conference – Setting Course for 2050 : Powering Global Trade, more than 30 influential speakers from around the world challenged the shipping community to fully explore the options open to the industry and the decisions it faces – decisions which will have implications beyond the sector’s own boardrooms.

Speakers included the Rt. Hon. Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Maritime, Department for Transport; Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Turner of Ecchinswell, Chair, Energy Transitions Commission, Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, CEO of the Green Finance Institute and Emanuele Grimaldi, President and Managing Director, Grimaldi Group S.p.A.

One of the most sobering statements came at the beginning of the day from Professor Anders Hammer Strømman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who reminded the audience that “Depending on the amount of CO2 released, between 15 to 40% of emitted CO2 will remain in the atmosphere for up to 2,000 years.”

In his opening remarks on behalf of ICS Emanuele Grimaldi reflected on the challenge ahead and the ground-breaking agreement on CO2 emissions concluded in April last year, known as ‘The Paris Agreement for Shipping’. He reminded the audience that we are embarking on the most important transformation to face the maritime sector since the transition from sail to steam saying: “We all know that change is coming and as in all business the winners will be those who identify the opportunities and make the right decisions.”

He added: “It represents a fundamental transformation in the business of shipping, something that we at ICS call the Fourth Propulsion Revolution.”

Acknowledging the panel of speakers he concluded: “What is also clear is that we can’t do it alone. Without the support of consumers, policymakers, the finance community and suppliers the Fourth Propulsion Revolution will be stifled. We must all work together to mitigate the risk of transformation. Risk is our common language. And we need to reach beyond our own community to ensure that the risk is equitably allocated and priced.”

The packed agenda covered climate science, research and development, finance, policy instruments and the role of the Global Maritime Value Chain.