Climate love

George Kariuki

8 w


Climate love

Returning Shipping to its ancient sustainable roots.

International shipping is at the heart of many of the world's supply chains – something that becomes only too apparent when problems occur. It's also the source of around 3% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
To get on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050, international shipping will have to reduce its emissions by 15% by 2030. So far, emissions from the industry have been going more or less consistently in the other direction.
One way to reduce emissions from shipping is to introduce a very old technology: sails. Wind is a clean source of propulsion that is often in abundance at sea. Some shipbuilders are taking this inspiration from the past extremely seriously, and even making the structure of the ship out of wood.

Will shipping return to its ancient roots?

The world is reliant on international shipping and emissions from the sector are growing. Will sustainable seafaring mean a return to sail-powered ships?

Others, such as Oceanbird, based in Sweden, are taking a thoroughly modern approach, building a prototype ship with four rigid sails that can not only help power the ship forward, but aid its agility and manoeuvrability too.
Sails won't be the whole answer for decarbonising shipping – clean fuels are also going to be a big part of the equation. But wind power is one promising way to reduce shipping's reliance on fossil fuels.
Watch above the second episode of Future Planet's video series, New Directions, where we explore how this ancient technology is inspiring the next generation of shipping.

Do you agree?

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  • Harrison wambui

    8 w

    A great step ahead

    • Saustine Lusanzu

      8 w

      This is sounds good

      • Joseph Githinji

        8 w

        Great steps to the right direction, old is surely gold

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