There are important changes needed to achieve a fossil-fuel free shipping industry that the industry itself has no influence or control over, such as the availability of sustainable fuels, shaping of regulations, government instruments and incentives, or the transport buyers (passenger or charterer) willingness to pay for sustainable transport.
Essential changes which the shipping industry does have the resources to influence include giving passengers the possibility to climate compensate, improved capacity utilization, increasing the knowledge or awareness of the benefits of cleaner shipping for transport buyers, as well as testing, developing and investing in new fuels and energy efficiency.
To achieve the changes that are needed to be free of fossil fuels, it is essential that there is cooperation between all main actors within transport buyers, harbours, academic institutions, marine technology firms, shipyards, energy suppliers, authorities, politicians, and shipowners and operators.
Through an analysis of the obstacles of achieving the goals of creating a fossil-fuel free shipping industry, the following main challenges have been identified.
- Shortage of fossil fuel free energy solutions and renewable energy sources
- Limited technology solutions
- Disadvantageous economic factors
- Insufficient investment into research
- Obstructive regulation
Today the Swedish shipping industry leads the development within various fields and sits at the cusp of climate and environmental work, a position already identified by the International Transport Forum of OECD.
Sweden has the qualified industry actors willing to invest in and contribute to innovation and show the road to change, an absolute necessity in meeting both international and national climate goals.
One challenge is to achieve a suitably high level of profitability during this period of transition. This requires a conscious strategic investment from both industry and the state, this means investment in the development of new technologies and new solutions. There is no alternative, climate change is not a negotiation.