The last two years will be remembered in history books as the Covid-19 pandemic, when all over the world people were forced to stay at home and limit human contact. These restrictions pursued by governments in order to fight the virus will remain in our minds as the main detrimental effect that Covid-19 had on our society. However, some consequences were not so simple to be detected but still represent concerns that will demand attention by authorities in the next future.
Greenland is important in that controlling the island provides significant access to the Arctic Ocean, abundant in resources such as oil, natural gas, iron ore, copper and nickel. Emerging sea routes, due to the reduction of ice sheets, further increase the geopolitical capital of holding influence over the region.
Long before the discovery of the New World and roundness of the Earth, it was the Silk Road that connected the East and the West economically, culturally, and politically. The famous travels of Marco Polo were also set through this route. For almost 2 thousand years, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century, this road was the largest trade network in the world. Now, after more than 200 years, China is willing to make the Silk Road great again!
Marine gas oil (MGO), marine diesel oil, and other refined and crude oils are the most common fuels that power the global shipping industry’s thousands of ships. These fuel types have been around for decades but, as of recently, they have been the focus of climate change activism in the maritime industry and far beyond due to their significant CO2, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxide pollution contributing to global warming.
Since around 114 BC, the Silk Road has revolutionized trade between Europe and East-Asia. Now, a new route is emerging that can transform global shipping as we know it today. That new route, the Northern Sea Route, passes from the edge of Alaska to the top of Scandinavia along Russia’s barren Siberian coastline and could be up to 2 weeks faster than the mainstream Suez Canal Passage.
Seaborne shipping accounts for circa 90% of world trade and studies show how the maritime sector will be responsible for 10% of global GHG emissions by 2050. Until now not enough has been done to lower and monitor emissions generated by this sector and binding agreements between countries have been proven to be insufficient. As climate movements sprout around the world, International Maritime Organization (IMO), chose “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet” to be the 2020 World Maritime theme.