The shipping industry plays a vital role in global trade and transportation, connecting nations and facilitating the movement of goods and people across the world’s oceans. However, this essential industry also poses significant environmental challenges. The emission of carbon dioxide, discharge of ballast water, sound pollution, and oil spillage are just a few of the issues that have a detrimental impact on the delicate marine ecosystem.
In response to these challenges, the concept of “green ship” and the pursuit of “greener shipping” have emerge as crucial endeavors to mitigate the environmental footprint of maritime activities. In this paper, I shall discuss the new technologies for greener shipping.
To enhance comprehension of this topic, it is crucial to provide a clear definition of the key terms namely, “green ship” and “greener shipping”. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations defined green ship as “a name given to any seagoing vessels that contribute towards improving the present environmental condition in some way”.
Similarly, greener shipping refers to the use of resources and energy to transport people and goods by ship and specifically concerns the reduction in such resources and energy in order to preserve the global environment from greenhouse gas (GHG) and environmental pollutant generated by ships.
For every level there is a challenge attached to it, this is the same for vessels travelling on the sea. The shipping industry’s contribution to carbon dioxide emission is a significant concern. According to IMO, ships consume a staggering 300 million tons of fuel annually, resulting in approximately 3 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, this poses a threat to the well-being of the people worldwide.
Additionally, is the discharging of ballast water by ships presents another difficulty as the marine ecology is negatively impacted by this water. Ballast water is extensively used by ships including cruise ships, largely tankers, and bulk cargo carriers. This water contains a wide range of biological elements that are harmful to the aquatic ecosystem, including plants, animals, viruses and bacteria.
Furthermore, endangering the lives of aquatic creatures is sound pollution. Ocean noise has been listed by the convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species as a potential threat to marine life. Large ship’s noise can travel long distances, disrupting the communication abilities of marine species such as whales posing a serious hazard.
Oil spillage remains a notorious concern associated with shipping. These spills have devastating effects on maritime life, as the components in crude oil, such as polycyclic aroma hydrocarbons (PAHs), are toxic and persist in the environment for year. The consequences of oil spills pose a significant threat to the survival of fish and other aquatic lives.
Fortunately, technology has emerged as a beacon of hope for greener shipping. Innovations and advancements in various reas have paved the way for solutions to these challenges. For instance, the introduction of the new Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel. This has significantly contributed to the reduction of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by enabling the use of advanced emission control technologies which substantially reduce the harmful emission from diesel combustion.
Moreover, the development Ballast Free Ship has revolutionized the maritime industry by minimizing ballast water requirements and reducing the hauling and dissemination of contaminated water into the oceans. This technology effectively curtails the detriment impact on marine life.
The utilization of alternative fuels, such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Green Hydrogen, presents a promising pathway to reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. These substitutes offer a cleaner and more sustainable option for powering ships, mitigating the environmental impact.
Additionally, the implementation of Exhaust Gas Re-circulation System known as the EGR system has proven instrumental in reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from gasoline and diesel engines. By recirculating a portion of exhaust gas back to the engine cylinder, technology contributes to curbing carbon dioxide emission, preserving the atmosphere’s well-being.
Innovative vessels, such as battery- powered boats, have emerged as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fuels-based ships. These electric- powered vessels minimize harmful emissions and promote a cleaner marine atmosphere. Battery boat is also a newly invented boat which is powered by battery instead of the common boats which uses fuel and all other gases which might be harmful to the Marine atmosphere.
The introduction of these technologies and equipment marks significant progress in addressing the environmental challenges faced by shipping industry. However, continued innovation and development are necessary to fulfil the mission of The International Maritime Organization (IMO) in providing an atmosphere where vessels and water transportation operate without causing harm to the environment or the water itself as they preserve the global environment from Green House Gas (GHGs) and environmental pollutant generated by ship.
In conclusion, as global trade and transportation rely heavily on shipping, it is essential that the challenges faced by shipping industry are sorted and more new technologies be invented and manufactured so as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to achieve its mission to provide an atmosphere whereby vessels, ships, boat and other means of transportation by water will operate without causing damage to either the atmosphere or the water itself.
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*TOHEEB ABDULSAMOD OBASANJO IS A THIRD YEAR LAW STUDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, KWARA STATE, NIGERIA .HE IS INTERESTED IN ADVOCACY, ACADEMIC WRITING, LEGAL WRITING/HISTORY, ACTIVISM AND A PLETHORA OF POSITIVISM.
TOHEEB ABDULSAMOD OBASANJO