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Industry must take the lead in addressing the pending climate catastrophe, with “the earth unable to wait for rules and regulations”.
Vice chair of the Dutch Maritime Council Kim van Neer was speaking at the European Shippers’ Council Maritime Day in Rotterdam today.
“I’m not much of a fan of rules and regulations, and when it comes to sustainability, we no longer have the luxury to wait for regulators to work out what to do,” she said.
“Instead, industry needs to take the lead and have companies come together to work out how to implement sustainability programmes that will affect change.”
Ms van Neer was part of a panel that collectively agreed reducing CO2 emissions must remain a priority for the shipping sector as it gears up for introduction of the 2020 sulphur cap.
Antoine Kedzierski, of the European Commission’s DG Move, said CO2 was a “top priority” for the commission.
“And it is an important challenge that we are unable to address alone, instead we need the cooperation of all the industry’s stakeholders,” he said. “What we need is to get everybody around the table to discuss the core technical issues we face and how we can get them to work.”
Mr Kedzierski said the commission was able to help, noting that it could provide support and finance to help stakeholders switch to sustainable practices.
He highlighted the sulphur cap as an important milestone, and “one that should be used as a guiding principle for addressing the wider greenhouse gasses issue”.
He added: “The sulphur directive provides a mechanism that allows us to appropriately enforce the measures and make sure we see total industry compliance.
“While it’s understandable that sulphur is very much at the forefront of people’s minds, we need to turn to the next issue that requires addressing: greenhouse gasses.”