By Daniel Canty
Industry, science and technology must work with IMO to reduce ships emissions.
Philip Embiricos, president of BIMCO pledged the continuing commitment of the global shipping industry to working alongside the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in developing solutions to environmental challenges in a speech last month.
Speaking on behalf of the Round Table of international shipping associations, namely BIMCO, ICS/ISF, Intercargo and INTERTANKO at an event marking the IMO's World Maritime Day 2007 in London, Embiricos said that the industry was fully conscious of the need to make shipping even more sustainable.
"Even though shipping is the mode of commercial transport offering the smallest environmental footprint, the theme for the day, ‘IMO's response to current environmental challenges', is an indication that more is expected of both regulators and the industry in making shipping even greener still," he said.
The BIMCO president explained that the Round Table believed after many years progress in the reduction of oil pollution, and others issues such as ballast water management, it was now necessary to complete the job of tackling atmospheric emissions - notably sulphur oxides (SOx) nitrous oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), greenhouse gas emissions.The Round Table organisations are closely involved with the IMO's scientific group, who are currently evaluating the implications of practical proposals for reducing harmful emissions from ships without negative impacts.
"A balanced mix of technological advances and operational improvements will no doubt deliver what is needed to tackle a range of environmental challenges facing shipping," said Embiricos. However, if world trade growth continues at a healthy rate, he warned a balance between green measures and additional transport cost must be maintained.
"The Round Table believes that the progress of this cumulative work would produce ships with minimal environmental footprints, self-contained and with virtually zero discharges," stated Embiricos. The president called for a greater commitment from industry, technology and science to succeed in these objectives.