Per Martin Tanggaard has read the headlines on Splash carefully this week. The study commissioned by the Getting to Zero Coalition that suggests there’ll need to be an outlay in excess of $1trn for shipping to achieve the IMO’s decarbonisation goals has got the head of Nor-Shipping excited.
In conversation with Maritime CEO, Tanggaard is keen to emphasise the scale of the opportunity facing the shipping industry as it looks to decarbonise. The Nor-Shipping director believes there’s a danger that this week’s high-profile report, which created headlines across the world, could be viewed with “unhelpful pessimism” rather than acting as a catalyst for required industry action.
“Yes, the sums are daunting, but the transition is essential,” comments Tanggaard. “Nobody can argue with the need for a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable shipping industry.”
The figures in the report, produced by UMAS and the Energy Transitions Commission, rise to anywhere between $1.4trn to 1.9trn if maritime is to fully decarbonise by 2050.
Nor-Shipping has cemented its position over the last decade as one of the world’s best showcases for green technology, so the headlines dominating Splash this week have been met with relish in Oslo by Tanggaard and his team.
“Given society’s growing environmental awareness and the perilous state of the natural world it’s becoming increasingly obvious that now is the time to take action, not bicker about exact levels of investment and delay potential initiatives,” Tanggaard says. “I’m not downplaying the scale of the challenge here – it’s an enormous one for all stakeholders in this industry – but we can’t focus too heavily on that and risk inertia. We simply don’t have the luxury of time.”
The UMAS report states that the transition represents “a whole system challenge” with the great majority of the investment required on land to support low carbon fuel production, storage and use. Roughly 13% of the total is estimated as a requirement in relation to vessels themselves, including new technology, retrofitting, newbuilds and other associated systems and equipment.
“I believe it’s vitally important that maritime sees this as a major opportunity as well as a challenge” Tanggaard stresses, adding: “Unhelpful pessimism will only create a barrier to progress. There’s a great deal of work to be done to reach this objective and that will create a need for new innovations, solutions, competency and cross sector collaboration. This isn’t a trillion dollars that we’re throwing away, it’s a trillion dollars of business for a wide range of suppliers, solutions providers, and forward-thinking industry players. That is a genuinely exciting prospect.”
Nor-Shipping 2021, taking place in Lillestrøm and Oslo 1-4 June 2021, will use its exhibition and activity programme to focus on the theme of #ACTION.
Tanggaard concludes: “Shipping needs the right policy measures, sufficient access to capital, and support from all strata of society. With that in place we can take the action needed to make this ambition a reality, meeting IMO targets and supporting the UN’s Paris Agreement. Put another way, we really can’t afford not to act.”