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Environmental Sustainability Efforts in the Maritime Industry


Ninety percent of world trade is carried by ships. The international maritime industry counts for some four percent of CO2 emissions worldwide. Solid growth is expected. Maritime activities are increasing in scope and now also include, Offshore oil and gas, ocean windmills, and activities in the extreme environments of the Arctic.

This is an industry that realizes that it makes business sense to be more efficient and environmentally sustainable. A number of industry initiatives have been taken directed toward both ships and ports, and the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed in 2011 to regulate seafaring vessels to stricter energy efficiency and carbon emission standards.

Both the US, California in particular, and Norway are considered to be at the forefront of these initiatives.


The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach are prime examples. They are ranked respectively as the largest and second largest container ports in the United States. At the same time they are both considered leaders when it comes to emission reducing and sustainability efforts. And in San Diego, the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard is leading the way when it comes to converting old and building new LNG powered Jones Act container ships.


The Norwegian maritime industry is similar. Their FellowSHIP initiative, recognized by the UN IMO, has produced a full size hybrid supply ship, and already in 2015 a large battery powered car ferry will be put into service. In 2014, another exciting initiative appeared. It's led by DnV GL, Norway, and the aim is to develop an autonomous container and fully electrical container ship that will visit the smaller ports up the long Norwegian coast. Could such a vessel also be of interest for the US West Coast?.

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