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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: It’s not easy (or cheap) being green

Listen to the latest edition of the Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

Governments and industry are jostling for position this week in the run up to a series of important decarbonisations meetings where shipping will be called to account, and likely a target. But amid the greenwashing and spin, companies are having to take real risks, incur some serious costs and make decisions based on few certainties. Joining the podcast this week is Stena chief executive Erik Hånell who talks us through the reality of what it takes to make a green stand and plan a pathway to 2050 without knowing enough about the detail of how to get there


LISTEN carefully and you will hear a worrying noise coming from the engine room of shipping this week.

It’s the sound of mild panic, confusion and suits jostling for position as the industry prepares to account for its position in the global effort to decarbonise.

When governments meet in Glasgow in late November for the most important environmental conference since the 2015 Paris Agreement, shipping will not top the agenda — but it will be an easy target.

And before we get there, there is the IMO’s crucial Marine Environment Protection Committee in June to consider.

So expect that noise to only get louder over the coming weeks.

Over the past seven days we’ve seen the UK confirm that it’s adding shipping into its emissions targets, the US has pulled off an impressive post-Trump U-turn joining the push at IMO gunning for absolute zero by 2050, shipowners are demanding market-based measures from the IMO as soon as possible and the European Commission has set out exactly what shades of green are going to be able to get green financing sending a clear message to shipping that it is currently the wrong hue.

And the World Bank has incurred the wrath of those shipping and energy companies who have collectively invested billions of dollars into liquefied natural gas as a transitional fuel, by coming out against further funding of the fuel and its infrastructure.

It’s been a busy week.

The list of caveats to those impressive statements are longer than and more time consuming than a traffic jam in the Suez, and require both a thorough reading of the articles linked to here and an immediate registration for our forthcoming webinar on May 12: How to Decarbonise Shipping.

But in the meantime we wanted to bring you a conversation with a podcast guest who is grappling with the big questions directly and trying to make the right decisions amid a lot of confusion in the industry.

Erik Hånell is the chief executive of Stena Bulk which recently unveiled a five-step plan to decarbonise by 2050 as it transitions to a more sustainable fleet.

Stena is one of many companies currently trying to set itself a pathway to a carbon free future, but Erik acknowledges that requires companies to take risks, incur some serious costs and make decisions based on very few certainties. He also accepts that for all the eye-catching statements of ambition and targets being fired out this week, the industry is still nowhere near where it needs to be in terms of providing tangible metrics to prove its carbon trajectory to politicians and society at large come November.


Podcast listeners can register for free to attend the event here:

Sign up now for the second webinar in the Lloyd’s List Future of Shipping programme, titled ‘How to decarbonise shipping

Across the year, The Future of Shipping series will gather industry leaders, policy makers, investors, financiers and sector experts to offer a unique programme of informed analysis and intelligent debate. For more information, to watch the first webinar on digitalisation on-demand and to register for the other events in the series, follow this link.

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