With today’s data, the complete elimination of coal by 2050 is a rather unattainable goal for shipping, the President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Dr. Georgios Pateras, noted during his speech at the recent Maritime Conference of the Athens Brotherhood of Hydra, in Greece.

Mr. Pateras also stressed that even if the shipping industry completely eliminates greenhouse gas emissions, the atmosphere will not be rid of harmful chemical compounds.  

The members of the Board of Directors of the Chamber, Mr. Yiannis Platsidakis and Mr Yannis Trifyllis, were on a similar wavelength. More specifically, Mr. Platsidakis stressed that shipping embraced the responsibility for limiting pollutants, in contrast to the automotive or aviation industry, where the responsibility lies entirely with the manufacturing companies.

Mr. Trifyllis pointed out the collateral consequences that lead to the emergence of tendencies of concentration in fewer and fewer companies.

Another member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber, Mr. Nikos Tsavliris, said that if a technological solution for an alternative energy source is not provided soon in the shipping sector, the impact on the climate will worsen.

Furthermore, the regular member of the Greek delegation to International Maritime Organization, Mr Panos Zachariadis, commenting on the prospects of alternative fuels, seemed rather pessimistic about their effectiveness in achieving the targets, giving as an example hydrogen, which he estimates will have a larger footprint than fossil fuels.

All the speakers and participants at the Maritime Conference of the Athens Brotherhood of Hydra, agreed that the complete decarbonisation of shipping by 2050 is a major challenge and an intractable puzzle for the industry.