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How much carbon risk in US$355 billion?

LONDON: November 08, 2017. The Carbon War Room (CWR), founded in 2009 by Richard Branson and others to advance the low carbon economy, is calling for the application of a global maritime risk assessment standard of new shipbuilding orders currently valued at US$355 billion.

Together with the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, the two organizations wants banks to begin analyzing the risk to financing ocean carriers as a result of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) plans to adopt regulations for reducing emissions from shipping, and the possibility of shipping being brought into the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) by 2023.

SeaRoad LNG RoRoThey also suggest the shipping industry begin to consider internal carbon pricing - already used by 32 percent of companies - to ensure future potential costs are factored into the bottom line as dollars per ton of CO2.

The result would enable decision-makers to see when a carbon-intensive investment offers more risk than reward in a climate-changing world according to CWR director of Global Shipping Operation Maurice Meehan: "Many global financial institutions have committed to bringing their portfolios in line with the transition to a low-carbon economy. To fully achieve this, they must address the climate risks to hundreds of billions of dollars in shipping investments that will emerge as soon as 2023."

According to CWR Finance lead James Mitchell, most lenders are making decisions without factoring energy efficiency into lending decisions: "Ships are carbon-intensive assets designed with a life-span of up to 30 years. A newbuild financed today will likely need to operate under a carbon price before its first five-year drydock, when modifications can be made."

Mitchell added that by 2050 the vessel could also be required to operate 90 percent more efficiently than when it was first delivered.

In 2014 the CWR merged with Rocky Mountain Institute - founded in 1982 to help businesses, communities, institutions and entrepreneurs shift from the use of fossil fuels to renewables.

Pictured: Tasmania short-sea specialist SeaRoad took delivery of the world's first LNG-powered 455-TEU RoRo vessel 'SeaRoad Mersey II' at a cost of A$110 million in December 2016. The vessel reduces CO2 emissions by 30 percent and NOx by 95 percent; particulate matter is reduced by 95 percent and Sox is eliminated, according to the company.

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