Change is needed in the maritime industry, which is at a critical juncture. New rules and regulations will drastically affect the industry as it moves in the direction of going green. But the transition must be achieved in a prudent, cost-effective manner.
Several factors have brought us to this point. Of paramount importance is the rapid increase in greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and ozone. These prevent heat from escaping from the atmosphere, which makes the earth warmer. That translates to the global-warming phenomenon. New pollution-control measures have already been put in place. They have necessitated a multitude of maritime changes, including new fuels such as ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) and the re-use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel rather than a cargo.
Further changes include new vessel design, cold-ironing of vessels in port (using shore power instead of the ship’s power plant), slow-steaming and vessel speed limits, improved port operations, and a marine highway in the United States. Climate change and global warming have had a significant impact on the maritime industry and its future.