This week, Seas At Risk’s shipping team are at the UN maritime headquarters in London to watch the shipping industry present their latest high-tech wind-propulsion technologies.

Modern technology is transforming shipping. High tech sails combined with accurate weather simulations, route-optimisation software, and automatic sail handling have the potential to create a new, genuinely greener and climate-friendly way of shipping.

An urgent industry-wide roll-out of this technology is needed if shipping is to play a proper part in tackling the climate crisis, and is essential if we are to avoid exceeding the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C global heating temperature limit.

Shipping is uniquely placed to benefit from the direct use of wind, an important renewable energy source that is free at the point of use. Wind propulsion technology installed on ships now can drive down emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, and in the future massively reduce the industry’s dependence on costly and environmentally problematic alternative low and zero carbon fuels.

Seas At Risk hopes that member states of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the UN maritime agency, are paying attention. Modern wind technology is the greenest option for future shipping and policies should be designed to make it the first stop for shipowners.

At the end of March, governments will return to London to continue the IMO’s debate on decarbonisation targets for the industry. Setting ambitious targets for 2030 and 2040 is key to triggering the large-scale roll out of modern wind ship technologies, and to avoiding dangerous climate heating. Seas At Risk will be there to help keep ambition and wind front and centre!