In 2021, 95 per cent of global trade was moved by sea. If you look around you, it’s likely that the nearby furniture, technology, or at least the parts that made them were at some point in a shipping container heading overseas. In comparison to other modes of transport, however, shipping is often overlooked when it comes to decarbonisation.
The shipping sector already has a tool to make the systemic changes necessary to decarbonise: the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The IMO has the power to set international regulatory standards. But how should the UK and the IMO balance the responsibility to steer policy that accelerates the decarbonisation of shipping at the pace required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees?
In this episode, Rosie Allen speaks to Tristan Smith, associate professor at UCL Energy Institute, to explore the barriers to shipping decarbonisation, the domestic picture and the role of the UK in raising the IMO’s ambition.