This time of the year is always a good opportunity to consider lessons learned and set new year’s resolutions for a new start. Our special column Industry Voices: ‘Goodbye 2020, hello 2021’ aims to provide an overview of this challenging year and set new targets for 2021 to move forward.
In this context, we have asked Mrs. Diane Gilpin, Smart Green Shipping’s CEO and founder, to make an assessment of 2020 from her perspective and share her message for the new year across the global community. Among others, she highlights that going green is a necessity; our industry needs to to give up believing that it is ‘hard to decarbonise’ and take action.
I would like shipping to start to actively engage with the huge commercial opportunities from immediately reducing fuel use and emissions
SAFETY4SEA: Focusing on your area of expertise, what were the most important industry development(s) within 2020?
D.G.: It’s been good to see the increase in interest in green power solutions in general and wind-assist technologies in particular. It’s been good to hear more talk about decarbonisation. It’s been disappointing that this interest is not yet backed up by the significant financial and political support badly needed for the industry to enjoy a level playing field.
S4s: Focusing on your area of expertise, what do you think that will be the biggest challenge(s) for the industry in 2021?
D.G.: Without a doubt the biggest challenge facing shipping, and the wider world, is the urgent need to rapidly and immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During 2020 we have witnessed what an emergency response looks like: vaccines have been produced at record speed because appropriate funding was made available so we could swiftly ameliorate the awful social and economic impacts of COVID-19. The climate emergency is more devastating than the pandemic. Technical and commercial solutions are available in abundance to address the climate emergency – just as COVID-19 vaccines were at the beginning of 2020 – what they lack is the funding to test and manufacture to accelerate them to market.
S4S: What would be the 2021 resolutions for your company/organisation?
D.G.: Smart Green Shipping is a collaborative network of committed and brilliant people and organisations. We address the industry’s challenges systemically by working with ship owners, cargo owners, crew, ports, naval architects and pulling in appropriate knowledge and expertise from F1, yacht racing, space and defence. Out resolution for 2021 is to deliver our first FastRigTM wingsails for market testing.
S4S: What is your overall forecast for shipping industry in 2021 and what would you like to share and/or wish and/or ask other industry stakeholders?
D.G.: Going green is a necessity, consumers and cargo owners want to buy green shipping, and those courageous industry players who make an early start in 2021 will prosper through more resilient, adaptable, profitable businesses.
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