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ICS chairman calls for economic sustainability

ICS chairman calls for economic sustainability
Stamford: Stringent measures to reduce shipping’s impact on the environment need to also be economically sustainable, the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) warned at this week’s Connecticut Maritime Association event in USA.  

“The protection of the environment is of great importance, but we must balance the measures we take with the economic impact of these measures,” said Masamichi Morooka. “At present shipping finance has virtually dried up. This is not just for new ships but also for the investments needed to continue operating existing ships in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner.

“If a shipping company is already sinking in debt, how is it going to pay for the retrofitting of expensive new ballast water treatment systems that will be required in the next few years, at an estimated cost of between one and five million dollars per ship?” he asked.

The ICS chairman also pointed to the huge cost of other environmental measures such as exhaust gas cleaning systems or the use of distillate fuels, which could force up shipping costs and serve to drive cargo onto less carbon-efficient modes of transport.

“While our regulators have a responsibility to balance the interests of shipowners with the need to protect the environment and the interests of wider society, they also need to be pragmatic and to have an understanding of the impact that their actions are having on the industry’s own long-term sustainability,” Marooka warned. “Otherwise there is a danger of creating an industry in which investors will not want to invest.” 

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