Japan is the second-largest ship owning nation and has stated that it would support a carbon tax. This tax would raise an immense $50 billion a year and would send a message to the shipping industry regarding alternatives ways to lower their carbon emissions.
This tax would hopefully encourage ship owners to take an eco-friendlier approach. Although this may be less ideal in terms of storage space and transit time, it would benefit the environment and resolve the problem of using fossil fuels (crude oil).
As an industry, it is not as straight forward as people think to decarbonise. With vessels travelling across the world, the amount t of fuel required is enormous. Using cleaner fuels such as green hydrogen and ammonia is not yet viable as they are not produced to the scale required for the vessels to function at full capacity. With the worldwide effort to decarbonise the shipping industry, technological advancements are crucial and will undoubtably play a huge role in this ongoing journey.
There are many concepts for ways to reduce carbon emissions such as smarter vertical aerofoils which a UK start-up is working towards implementing. These aerofoils will accurately calculate the available wind to any ship at any speed. As a result, this technology aims to reduce fuel consumption by at least a fifth.
Will an introduction of carbon tax encourage shipping companies to invest in new technology to help reduce their emissions?