Abstracts on Global Climate Change

Mar 2006

Climate change and the future of shipping and ship design

Breslin, DA


In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a series of alarming reports that outlined the likely consequences of climate change over the next 50 to 100 years. Subsequent to those reports, in early 2005, the Kyoto Protocol took effect, establishing modest targets for reducing emissions of global-warming gases by certain countries. Those targets are widely considered to be inadequate to do the job. >> In 2007, the IPCC will issue its next series of reports, and it is widely anticipated that those reports will paint a grim picture of the future, possibly setting off another round of calls to action and negotiations for tougher treaty requirements.))Whatever the immediate reaction to the 2007 IPCC reports, determined action by developed and developing nations alike appears inevitable. That determined action will affect every economic sector, including the shipping and shipbuilding industries. >> So it’s coming time for the leaders, owners, operators, technologists, designers, and manufacturers in the U.S. domestic shipping and shipbuilding industries to begin contemplating what actions they will take to address possible legal requirements associated with global climate change. >> Previous papers on climate change by this author have focused on ship technologies (Breslin & Wang, 2004) as well as DoN acquisition strategies (Breslin, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to outline where we are and where we are likely to be going relative to treaties and domestic legislation associated with climate change, speculate on the likely implications relative to shipping and shipbuilding, and outline a rough path into the future.

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