If we work together, the maritime industry can be at the frontier in providing clean solutions for a sustainable future.
If you go by recent events, it’s no exaggeration to say that the planet is suffering thanks to mankind’s hubris.
Europe has seen record heat waves. Arctic ice is melting, the Amazon is burning. Microplastics are everywhere. 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO limits. The latest IPCC report warns that we have less than a decade to avert a climate catastrophe by limiting global warming. People worry these events portend certain doom.
But I firmly believe the maritime industry can be at the frontier in devising and providing clean solutions for a brighter future. Approximately 90% of world trade, worth at least USD 24 trillion in goods and services, generating a GDP of USD 2.5 trillion annually, is carried by sea. This gives us enormous leverage. Yet, at the same time, slow adoption of new technologies has resulted in massive inefficiencies. The silver lining - we can solve these problems very quickly if we work together.
This is what makes global initiatives such as An Oceanic Awakening and SEA20 so important. They provide an open invitation to the planet’s best and brightest to cooperate, innovate, legislate and embrace new solutions in marine and energy.
The response has been overwhelming. We are delighted to see cities join SEA20 and hope to exceed the promise we made in 2018. To date, we have reached out to over 250 potential contributors, held interviews, and will be publishing a Global Analysis on Marine and the Environment by the end of the year. The first high-level SEA20 meeting held in Helsinki, attracted mayors, politicians, and industry leaders, together with whom we agreed to develop the SEA20 2020 principles; all in support of preserving our oceans and creating a sustainable future.
Ultimately, we must change consumer mindset to focus beyond price, and consider the impact and footprint of every decision we make. This is a marathon that will stretch well beyond 2020. As a result of An Oceanic Awakening, we hope to see SEA20 grow organically across the globe and become a trigger to meet and exceed IMO’s 2020, 2030 and 2050 goals, while helping the maritime industry embrace digitalisation and create an efficient, interconnected and sustainable ecosystem.
At Wärtsilä, we are proud to be part of this global movement. We will continue to invest our time and expertise in this inspirational journey of transformation. The question is: will you join us in delivering a future we can all be proud of?
Wärtsilä Marine Business