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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Why we need to get shipping’s carbon regulation right, now

Your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

The difficult detail of how shipping deals with carbon pricing and the ultimate impact that could have in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions hangs in the balance. The debate regarding which combination of measures gets agreed is going to be a difficult and highly political one, but this week’s edition of the podcast argues that case for keeping in mind the end goal and not getting lost in climate finance agreements that raise revenue, but fail to reduce emissions


When we talk about green shipping, are we always talking about actions that have a net benefit in terms of reduction of greenhouse gases? 

Are the commercial choices we make today about reducing absolute emissions, or just the most pragmatic financial options on the table? And are the regulations we are negotiating genuinely addressing the problem of climate change, or just part of a wider exercise in climate finance revenue raising? 

It’s not always a clear cut as we might like.

Having agreed the ambitious 2050 net zero targets last year, we are about to ramp up into the difficult detail of how we get there and the details increasingly mater. 

This week’s edition of the podcast argues that we are at an inflection point. The detail of what gets agreed at the International Maritime Organization over the next 12 months will come with consequences for shipping, but also the pace of investment into new fuels such as green hydrogen.

The many combinations of measures proposed at the IMO all entail a degree of revenue generation. The scale of revenues expected is unclear, as is the destination for the revenue. 

Are we ploughing that money into shipping’s decarbonisation efforts — bridging the cost differential to green fuels — or will we see that cash disappear into coffers of the poorest and climate most vulnerable states with little direct impact on shipping’s energy transition?

Will the IMO agreements help or hinder shipping’s chances to get ahead in the queue for green hydrogen.

Discussing these question on this week’s edition:

John Butler, president and CEO of the World Shipping Council

Rasmus Bach Nielsen, Trafigura’s global head of fuel decarbonisation

Bud Darr, executive vice-president, Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group

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