The central theme for this year’s World Maritime Day, titled “MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on”, seeks to underscore the significance of collaboration in advancing and enforcing the most stringent feasible safety and environmental standards within the realm of global shipping.
n line with this objective, we’ve reached out to industry experts to solicit their insights in response to the following question:
As we mark this year’s World Maritime Day, what are your top priorities or desired actions for maritime stakeholders in their commitment to marine environmental protection under the MARPOL Convention?
Linette Casey, Head of Americas Sales for Electrification, Automation, and Digitalization at Siemens Energy [Siemens Energy is a Blue Sky Maritime Coalition Leadership Sponsor]
On World Maritime Day, our paramount focus for maritime stakeholders centers on bolstering marine environmental preservation and bringing maritime stakeholders together across the value chain to advance emissions reductions. To effectively navigate the decarbonization journey, collaborations like Blue Sky Maritime Coalition are key and, we advocate for tailored solutions that support vessel owners in reducing emissions while improving OPEX costs. Custom hybrid configurations that suit diverse ship types and mission profiles are essential for optimizing efficiency. Embracing alternative fuels like eMethanol, hydrogen fuel cells, and advanced power plants leveraging energy storage and variable-speed diesel-electric propulsion holds great potential. Integrated fast-charging solutions and propulsion enhancements like SISHIP SiPOD podded propulsors optimize hydrodynamics. Advancing gas turbines with future fuel versatility is an option for high-powered vessels. Combining these technologies with digital modeling and simulations early on is crucial for a sustainable future.
Diane Gilpin, CEO/ Founder, Smart Green Shipping Alliance
The industry has been calling for clarity on reducing emissions through regulation, but it’s not happening fast enough. We don’t have the time to wait for regulation to catch up and discussions around alternative fuels have been too much of a focus. We need to move with urgency and work with what’s in front of us. Maritime stakeholders need to take a harder look at wind as it’s such an obvious solution – it’s abundant, freely available, saves costs and drives down emissions. Wind powered ships also produce less noise, thus reducing the impact on marine life. The technology already exists and those that act now stand to reap significant financial and reputational benefits.
Bjørn Kjærand Haugland, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Skift Business Climate Leaders
On this World Maritime Day, it’s crucial for maritime stakeholders to prioritize marine environmental protection under the MARPOL Convention. First, rigorous adherence to all the MARPOL’s regulations, particularly those pertaining to pollution prevention, is imperative. Stakeholders should invest in advanced technologies and practices to minimize oil and chemical spills, reduce emissions, and prevent littering of oceans.Second, fostering international cooperation is essential to combat cross-border pollution and ensure global adherence to MARPOL standards. Additionally, promoting sustainable shipping practices, such as adopting eco-friendly fuels, technology and vessel designs, should be a priority for the entire maritime community. Finally, raising awareness and educating the maritime community on the importance of environmental protection is vital for long-term sustainability.These corridors of actions will support the maritime community to effectively uphold the MARPOL Convention’s goals of protecting marine environments and to actively promote sustainable shipping practices.
Carleen Lyden Walker, Co-Founder/CEO, NAMEPA & IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador
Over the past 50 years, IMO has passed MARPOL regulations and their updates to motivate industry to mitigate its impact on the environment. MARPOL has resulted in a decrease in these impacts, prompted new technology and practices, and motivated industry to be good stewards of the marine environment. The work is not complete. Many countries have not embedded MARPOL (or MARPOL-type) legislation into their national framework, leaving them vulnerable to environmental impacts. In the Caribbean alone, only 25% of these nations are protecting their marine environment through MARPOL instruments. Other nations do not have a strong Port State Control regime; IMO can create all the regulations in the world, but they need to be enforced by member states.
Frantzeskos Kontos | Managing Director, Pantheon Tankers Management Ltd.
Our target is to acquire the required expertise order to be able to meet the stringent Zero Carbon targets. This is a prerequisite before embarking into the necessary capital investment in terms of modifications or new acquisitions. And while the air pollution front requires new investment in people and equipment, we need not neglect Marpol annex I and by all means prevent oil coming into the water. The equipment is there, having been inspected for decades the systems are there, having been audited for decades. What we need is to develop the right culture in order to keep Marol Annex I relevant.
Dr Prapisala Thepsithar, Director of Research & Projects, Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD)
To meet the IMO’s 2050 net-zero goal, I believe that collaboration across the value chain is necessary to address shipping’s energy transition to a low-/zero-carbon economy. One of our top priorities at GCMD is to establish an assurance framework to provide transparency to GHG emissions reduction across the marine fuels supply chain. We are working with a consortium of 23 industry partners on 5 end-to-end supply chain trials tracing the quality, quantity, and emissions abatement of drop-in biofuels to raise user confidence of the integrity of the green fuels supply chain. This assurance framework can also be extended to future drop-in fuels, such as bio-LNG, bio-methanol, and green ammonia.
Maria Vitoratou Zisimatou, Senior Specialist, Maritime Decarbonisation Athens Centre Team Leader, Performance, Design & Environment (PDE) Services, Lloyd’s Register
We are operating our maritime business in times when MARPOL clearly reflects the anxiety of our societies. Much more now, than 50 years ago, MARPOL is connected with the young generation’s quest for a sustainable future. Our commitment should go on appreciating and responding to this duty. Addressing in an aspirational yet demanding manner all aspects that pollute our marine environment, while ensuring that the universal nature of saving our world can solely be achieved by the global governance that IMO can provide. As Lloyd’s Register, we will be working with all stakeholders to ensure fast and technically viable decisions are implemented and making sure people are trained and statutory compliance is achieved.
The views presented are only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.