The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, underway now could have an effect on the shipping industry for years. Understandably, the industry has been concerned about the imposition of an onerous carbon tax and increased regulations that will hamper operations. The industry feels that a lot has already been accomplished and should not be burdened further. The International Chamber of Shipping has stated that fuel efficiency efforts have been aggressive by the industry. The International Maritime Organization's efforts to cut CO2 emissions are said to have been far better than government targets.
Rather than fighting for reductions of regulations and constraints on the industry, thought should be given to any opportunities that governmental changes could have that would be beneficial. One must remember that currently, the critical problem is the overcapacity in segments such as dry bulk. If any regulations or agreements are able to hasten the retirement of ships to the scrap yards, a substantial benefit will be realized.
But first one needs to look at the overall issues that climate change reductions will have on commodities transported by ship, in particular those transported by dry bulk. As a major contributor to carbon dioxide, coal is a good place to start. Beginning with China, it is clear that there is little need to pressure China to reduce its use of coal. China's own smog problem is the primary driver on this. The government is well aware of the problem and is willing to deal with it and in fact has already begun to cut coal's use. On the other hand, India, like other developing economies, will likely have to be pressured to transition away from coal for electricity generation. Developed countries will of course help with technology and investment for these changes. Efforts will also be made to reduce heating and cooking by coal in underdeveloped countries. Hence no matter what, coal is a dying fuel. Therefore dry bulk transportation of coal does not have a bright future.
As for crude oil and the tanker fleet, economics and geopolitics will probably dominate for years with carbon reduction having only a long term damping effect. The same goes for natural gas use and its transportation.
The most interesting outcome after COP21 would be how national legislation is crafted to hasten the retirement, or conversion, of ships with polluting technologies. Any laws or regulations which heavily tax or constrain the use of certain propulsion systems will have effective dates that are years away. Tax incentives for new technology ships would have an effect soon; however, they would add to capacity by essentially reducing the cost of newbuilds. Some governmental actions could have a more beneficial and immediate results. For example, a tax break or subsidy for the scrapping of these polluting ships could take some of the capacity from the market immediately.
There may even be other ways to reduce capacity by supporting legislation and regulations that are possible due to COP21. The agreements need to be examined carefully. Creative ideas for legislation and regulation should be developed. Collusion among shipping operators can often be illegal; however, legislation and regulations can achieve the same end properly and quite legally. Hence COP21 is an opportunity that does not come often.
In summary, the largest effect on shipping from COP21 will likely be the reduction of coal as a dry bulk. If the agreements at COP21 and the national laws and regulations afterward are crafted correctly, they could be beneficial in reducing the overcapacity which has plagued several segments of maritime transportation.
Marintec China 2015 will be held from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4 in Shanghai. With increasing worldwide recognition and reputation throughout the past three decades, the exhibition is attracting an increasing number of high-profile exhibitors and visitors from around the world.
Being the most recognized maritime trade show in Asia, Marintec China is definitely an international marketplace for buyers to source from international sellers showcasing their latest marine, ship design, offshore engineering and port technology.
From Nov. 3 to Nov. 6 this year, Europort, organized in the world port city of Rotterdam, will be the international maritime meeting place for innovative technology and complex shipbuilding. Europort has a strong focus on special purpose ships including offshore vessels, dredging vessels, construction vessels, naval vessels, workboats, inland vessels, fishery vessels and super yachts. With almost 30,000 professional visitors and 1100 exhibiting companies Europort belongs to the world's leading maritime meeting places.
The 8th Co-operation Forum opened in Singapore on Oct. 5 to discuss challenges faced by the maritime industry including cyber security and the trend towards a sustainable global maritime transport system.
The second day of the two-day forum saw the launch of a hydrographical survey of the straits of Malacca and Singapore previously reported by IHS Maritime. This is a joint venture by Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, backed by Japanese finance and technical expertise.
Singapore minister of state Josephine Teo, who officiated at the forum, noted the importance of the survey in "one of the busiest and most important shipping lanes in the world", through which about one-third of the world's traded goods pass.
Andrew Tan, chief executive of the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), reviewed Singapore's recent role in navigation safety. In 2014, the MPA launched an industry-wide maritime safety campaign to foster a culture of safety among seafarers and users of the straits of Malacca and Singapore. This August, the authority established the National Maritime Safety at Sea Council to promote safety at sea at a national level.
"The incident rate at the port of Singapore is one of the lowest, with 0.005 incidents per 1,000 vessel traffic movements last year, compared with 0.008 in 2013," said Tan.
The 2015 Co-operation Forum attracted more participants than ever: more than 150 from 40 countries and organizations.
Many prominent members of the UK shipping community met with the prime minister yesterday morning at 10 Downing Street to kick off London International Shipping Week.
The meeting was designed to explore new ways of promoting economic growth in the UK, with the government keen to bolster the sector. On the agenda were reforms of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the need for a more proactive and commercial ship register, and continuing issues faced by companies in providing visas for top international talent.
UK Chamber of Shipping CEO Guy Platten commented, "We know that the UK needs to up its game as a major maritime player – and today we've explained clearly to government how they can help us do that. I believe strongly that a growing flag, competitive ship register and dynamic workforce will prove to the world that the UK remains the home of international shipping. The challenge is ensuring government, with our support, delivers on those aims.
The meeting came before the launch of the Maritime Growth Study, a new report intended to identify new ways of growing the UK shipping industry.
Baltic Exchange chief executive Jeremy Penn said, "I am really very pleased at the level of attention that our industry is gaining from the highest levels of government. A government that understands the needs of international business is vital to our continued success."
Since its inception in 2000, the biennial Pacific International Maritime Exposition (PACIFIC) has continued to expand. The number of commercial maritime and naval defence industry participants from around the world has grown substantially.
PACIFIC 2015 will be held in Sydney, Australia from Oct. 6 to Oct. 8 this year.
As the only comprehensive international exhibition of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, PACIFIC 2015 will again provide the ideal showcase for commercial maritime and naval defence industries to promote their capabilities to decision makers from around the world.
Danish Maritime Days, a major event for the global maritime industry, will be held from Oct. 5 to Oct. 9 this year.
The event is focused on global challenges and opportunities facing the industry in the future.
SPE Offshore Europe will be held from Sept. 8 to Sept. 11 this year in Aberdeen, UK.
SPE Offshore Europe is the largest technical E&P event in Europe, and in 2013, it attracted a total attendance of 63,000+ to see the latest developments across the E&P industry on display and SPE produced conference programme.
London International Shipping Week 2015 will be held from Sept. 7 to Sept. 11.
The event will offer over 100 industry functions and unique networking opportunities for leaders across all sectors of the international shipping industry – regulators, charterers, ship owners, ship managers, bunker suppliers, lawyers, ship brokers, bankers, insurers, insurance brokers, commodity traders and brokers, ship suppliers, port operators, shipping service providers and many more.
Maritime Security 2015 West will be held in San Diego, California, U.S. from Aug. 17 to Aug. 19.
Maritime Security 2015 West provides discussion and collaboration on strategies and technologies to counter maritime security threats encountered by governments, law enforcement, and port/terminal owners and operators. Interactive workshop sessions are designed to give all conference participants the actionable knowledge on how to better secure their maritime areas of responsibility, mainly by stressing the importance of collaboration, efficiency, and best practices. Each topic will be addressed by relevant perspectives of those who have implemented successful strategies and technologies in their maritime security operations.