The CEO addressed the MEA, SME Conference entitled “SMEs and Green Growth – The Journey Ahead”, where he spoke about the potential for technology in enhancing the progress towards carbon-neutrality in the Maritime Industry.
The MMF’s intervention was framed in the context of the maritime industry being already the most energy efficient mode of transport of goods and people due to the sheer critical mass it enjoys, for example, by transporting 23,000 containers at one go on a single ship. The forum claims that if more traffic continues to be shifted onto waterborne transport, that, by itself, will make this mode of transport even more efficient. But whilst this gives scope for expansion in the maritime industry, the industry wishes to grow in a green and sustainable manner – not merely because it is being expected to do so by International regulatory frameworks and ESG considerations but because the industry itself is a victim of grave, climate change consequences. Rising sea and air temperatures, shifting sea levels and the frequency of extreme marine events like tropical storms and cyclones are most devastating to the operations within the industry.
Mr Borg explained that it would be impossible for the industry to become greener without the support of technology so the process ahead was indeed a “twin transition”. To this end, ongoing Research has been taking place and continues to take place in order to find new Engineering and Digital Solutions that render the maritime industry more digital, autonomous, better integrated and, above all, less polluting giving some concrete examples of encouraging developments in the areas of alternative fuels, clean engines, exhaust treatment systems, green equipment, battery cell development and smart technology for improved efficiency and operations. He also outlined the main current challenges to further adoption and implementation.
The conference was held in hybrid form on 3rd November and was streamed live on Zoom and Facebook.