Tuesday, 17 June 2014

THE OSTRICH, THE FIGHTER AND THE PIONEER


Another week, another global scientific report underlining our position at Climate Code Red. The Antarctic is showing alarming signs of meltdown with unknowable consequences to the global climate. This was first highlighted as far back as 1968. Meanwhile Lord Nicholas Stern and economics colleagues in London have released a new study showing the economic models developed in 1991 have grossly underestimated the costs of responding to climate change.

In the UK this week the British Chamber of Shipping has called a debate in the Houses of Parliament to challenge and delay the application of EU sulphur regulations on shipping due to be implemented in Jan 2015. The start date and implications of the introduction of Emission Control Areas has been on the table for several years, discussed and argued about at a thousand conferences in the last decade and yet no positive response has been developed for accommodating the new regulations.

I’ve heard shipping industry leaders publically advocate non-compliance as there is insufficient resource to police ECAs whilst the Trident Alliance of major operators call for tighter controls in ECAs to ensure a level playing field. It’s all very messy.

Our collective reaction to climate change is first to behave like the ostrich - to stick our heads firmly in the sand and hum loudly so we can’t hear the warnings. When that doesn’t work we start to fight.

But there is another, more exciting, more fulfilling way - and that’s to choose the pioneer’s journey. The shipping industry has a wealth of innovation being developed to radically reduce emissions which will improve operating incomes - because emission reduction means less fuel.

Pioneers set sail centuries ago to explore new worlds and create new economies. We have that opportunity again, to develop a sustainable world.

It’s a much over-used word, sustainability, and often misunderstood. It’s about transitioning a fragile and vulnerable business to a robust and resilient one. A sustainable business isn’t about making less profit; it’s about making profit for ever. 


This blog was inspired by @rachelbotsman 

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