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Wednesday, November 17, 2021 

A panel discussion held by Lloyds Register (LR) at COP26, 'A Spotlight on the Blue Economy: Supporting Sustainable Supply Chains' looked at how ocean health correlates directly with human health and how the operation of the worlds supply chains, including ocean transport, has a direct impact.

Ruth Boumphrey, Director of Strategic Programmes, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, said: “Ocean industries fulfil a vital role in everyone’s lives and are expected to double in size by 2030. These industries need to expand safely and with sustainable criteria in design, finance, engineering operation and decommissioning.”

LR’s Katharine Palmer, Global Sustainability Manager and UN High-Level Climate Champion Shipping Lead, warned that meeting targets in the future will not be possible without tackling shipping emissions today. She highlighted the work of the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, involving 5000 non-state members representing 15% of the world economy. There were, however, only two shipping companies in the membership so far, she noted.

Martha Selwyn of UN Global Compact emphasised the importance of ensuring we use terminology with the same definitions. “We all talk about ‘net zero’,” she said, “but are we talking about the same thing?”. She cited ‘tunnel carbon vision’ as an example – it was all very well talking about reducing carbon emissions, she said, but what about everything else?

Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, stressed that the entire economy of the planet ultimately depends on healthy oceans and that they are currently in great danger. In the drive to reduce emissions and prevent the catastrophic outcomes of rising temperatures, ocean welfare must be at the top of the agenda. He cited the work of the World Meteorological Association in Geneva and its Secretary-General, Petteri Taalas, who has predicted that we are heading for a world that will be 3°C warmer by the end of the century, without drastic action now. 

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