In his presentation, Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen said that the shipping market was probably at the bottom of the cycle and looks forward to continuing modest upward growth: European yards had experienced a renaissance, on the basis of a strategy to specialise in high technology vessels.

Decarbonising shipping would not impact specific ships in the short term, said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, but required concrete policy measures and the development of an action plan by IMO.

The 50% reduction goal will likely call for a wide-spread uptake of zero-carbon fuels, in addition to other energy efficiency measures. These fuels are not existing today, and there needs to be a concerted effort towards developing these and making them available in the necessary quantity. In classification, working with the industry to create a safe and sustainable future is at the heart of what we do. We look forward to working closely with the IMO and the wider maritime community to reach this goal.

Increasing digitalisation in the industry came with a host of benefits, including improving environmental performance, said Ørbeck-Nilssen, but there were challenges as well. Cyber-crime needed to be addressed:

We see our industry being more exposed with cyber-attacks migrating from the IT world to operational technology, increasing the risk for shipping. To help the industry to tackle those risks, we have put cyber security high on our agenda.

In closing, Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen emphasized the continuing importance of classification:

Our ways of working may be changing. But the purpose of classification still remains the same: To protect life, property and the environment.