At the recent European Shipping Week, CLIA’s Secretary General, Tom Boardley, gave some perspectives on the industry.
He said that this year, with the European Green Deal now tabled, the timing was a good opportunity to discuss the Commission’s proposed roadmap to a carbon neutral future.
“Whilst not so many years ago, sustainability may only have been the topic of a fringe meeting, it is now taking centre stage, and rightly so.
”Sustainability is certainly now in the DNA of the cruise industry. I was particularly pleased, therefore, that CLIA was able to host a session during the week to discuss the strides that the cruise industry is making towards de-carbonisation.
“With representatives from the European Commission, cruise lines and ports, the discussion was wide-ranging and touched on how value creation, sustainable growth and responsible tourism can all go hand in hand.
”We recognise our responsibility and, increasingly, our passengers want to know they are choosing a sustainable form of travel. In fact, some of the most exciting environmental innovations can be found on cruise ships. And cruise ships are constantly testing new approaches – whether LNG, battery use, or other alternative fuels – but innovation requires time, investment and collaboration if it is to be scaled up effectively and safely,” he said.
Collaboration was raised in more than one session during the week, with calls for the private and public sector to work together if transformational change is to be achieved. Whether through incentivisation or investment in Research and Development, it is clear the industry will need to work together if the technological innovations needed to meet the sheer scale of society’s carbon challenge are to be identified.
”Shipbuilding is one of Europe’s success stories. The world’s ocean going cruise ships are all constructed within Europe. Many thousands of people perform highly skilled work across multiple countries, strengthening local economies and nurturing talent for future generations.
“Let’s work together with all our partners to ensure that this success is sustainable for the benefits of all, socially, economically and environmentally.
”One of the most encouraging signs from the week is the open-minded approach from shipowners, regulators, NGOs and other stakeholders to the options for de-carbonising the industry. The phrase “it will never work” was absent from the discussion, as everyone wrestles with finding the right path to a low carbon future, without jeopardising the economic prospects for the next generation,” Boardley concluded.