Important ideas for the future of shipping in the fields of environmental protection, technology and fuel were presented during Tuesday, the second day of the "Maritime Cyprus 2019" Conference being held in Limassol.
In statements to Cyprus News Agency on the sidelines of the conference, Shipping Deputy Minister to the President of the Republic of Cyprus Natasa Pilides said, inter alia, that during today`s discussions "we have heard very important ideas about the future of shipping which are really changing the way we think and deal with things".
These ideas, she added, allow us to see the future of shipping from a different perspective and to think outside the frameworks imposed by our daily lives so that we can move forward in a more dynamic way in view of technological changes.
She also said that some radical ideas and projects being promoted by some shipping companies and shipowners to tackle environmental change were presented during discussions on the environment.
The Minister further noted that representatives of companies dealing with innovation have expressed their views on how technology can help to the further development of the maritime sector so that it can play a role in international trade in the long run.
According to a press release issued by the organizers, the first session of the day discussed the theme of “Is competitiveness the price of environmental protection?”.
The panel agreed that, without global regulations, it will be difficult to maintain a level playing field for shipping. It was suggested that environmental protection represents not only a challenge but also an opportunity to drive innovation. In terms of meeting environmental targets, it was questioned if scrubbers are part of solution, or part of the problem, with a commitment to evaluating the scientific evidence relating to scrubber washwater before any further legislative decisions are made.
The application of batteries and methanol were considered, with a strong case made for LNG. Strong environmental credentials, competitive pricing, and increasing availability were all cited, with biogas put forward as a means to translating LNG’s ability to meeting future environmental targets towards 2050. The panel concluded with recognition that consumer power will drive environmental change and its influence is building quickly and aggressively.
After the first panel, keynote speaker, futurist & CEO, Futurenautics Group, K D Adamson, identified how the combination of global megatrends, emerging technologies and new generational mindsets will radically transform our lives and reframe the operating environment.
She said there will be seismic change and suggested that the fundamental assumptions on which business, society, and the economy have been based for centuries will need to be re-evaluated. Her belief is that the future for shipping is digital, decarbonised, and circular, which will drive growth and value creation.
The second panel of the day focused on "Managing change: Disruption or destruction?”.
The panel discussed how the shipping industry can use developments in technology to be better, smarter, and greener. The importance of the human element was again underlined, with acknowledgement that diversity and inclusion will be central to adapting to the challenges that lie ahead. The panel agreed that education of the younger generation is the starting point to ensuring the opportunities and rewards of a career in shipping are understood.