Whenever a typhoon hits the Philippines—which is often—it’s normal for Lydia Mar Manila to ask our seafarers if they need any help. It’s a terrible feeling to be onboard and unable to contact your family after a devastating storm has hit your hometown. Anxiety will eat you up.
On September 25, 2022, which also happened to be National Seafarers’ Day in the Philippines, the most powerful typhoon to hit the country in 2022 destroyed homes, crops, and lives in parts of Luzon.
Typhoon Karding was noted by experts because it intensified quickly. Overnight it went from a category 1 typhoon to category five. According to scientists, typhoons felt around the globe will likely worsen as long as global warming exists. With lives at risk, this isn’t just a problem—it’s an all-out emergency. Something must be done.
Shipping’s effects on the environment
For its part, the maritime sector is fully aware about the environmental dangers it possesses as it goes about shipping 90% of world trade. IMO’s (International Maritime Organization) green house gas study published in 2020 found that in 2018, international shipping was responsible for 2.8% of green house gas emissions—that’s the stuff causing climate change and intense storms. Environmental watchdogs suspect that this could climb to 10% by 2050 given current growth rates.
Spotlight on green technologies
We need better, cleaner ships. This is what the IMO is promoting through this year’s World Maritime Day theme: “New Technologies for Greener Shipping”. There’s a great summary of various green technologies on their website. We’ve highlighted some for you:
Visit the IMO Event page for World Maritime Day to learn more, and to participate in this year’s various activities.
Several of Lydia Mar Manila’s principals are also onboard with going green. Carisbrooke has a fleet of “Super Green Ships”, Mastermind is investing in green vessels, and Nova Marine has already completed a carbon neutral voyage. You can read more about our principals here.
But the truth is it won’t be easy to go “green”. Building new vessels and retrofitting old ones will be expensive. However, sticking to the status quo will cost society even more money. The Philippines alone has lots billions of dollars due to climate-related hazards.
The impact on maritime workers
It’s also important to remember that ship technologies still have a human component. IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim emphasized that new tech should also consider the impact on crew and marine personnel.
According to a 2020 research by N.Akamangwa, following environmental regulations can sometimes be stressful to crew. The threat of fines and criminal charges over a single mistake can create an incredibly tense work environment. New technologies for greener shipping should benefit maritime workers too, and give them room to do their jobs more efficiently, accurately, and confidently—without fear of going to jail.
Especially with Filipino seafarers, whose loved ones are feeling the worst effects of climate change, there is no doubt that they would do what it takes to save their planet, homes, and families. (Recommended Reading: Philippines is the most at risk from climate crisis)