‘Ocean Leadership Conference’ kicks off a busy Nor-Shipping week

By Michael Rogers

“How do we prepare for the next big step?” – from left, Ramez Naam, Singular University; Ann-Christin Andersen, TechnipFMC Worldwide; and Lasse Kristoffersen, Torvald Klaveness, with moderator Nisha Pillai
“How do we prepare for the next big step?” – from left, Ramez Naam, Singular University; Ann-Christin Andersen, TechnipFMC Worldwide; and Lasse Kristoffersen, Torvald Klaveness, with moderator Nisha Pillai

Tuesday morning’s “Ocean Leadership Conference” at Nor-Shipping set the tone for what promises to be a busy, informative week in Oslo.

Focus on sustainability – Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg
Focus on sustainability – Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg

Moderated by journalist Nisha Pillai and attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, the opening conference featured leading figures from shipping, ocean industries, politics, business and finance.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg opened the conference, speaking about Norway’s position on shaping the future of the industry:

“In the time ahead, our ocean policy will focus more strongly on three specific areas: skills and digitalisation, value creation along the entire Norwegian coast, and climate change and green shipping. The maritime industry is undergoing rapid change. It has every opportunity to be at the forefront of new technology development and to become a key player in reducing emissions.”

The Prime Minister expressed how meeting the emissions challenge will increase competitiveness:

“We still have great aspirations for our maritime industry. We are determined to continue developing safe, reliable, sustainable and cost-effective services. Reducing carbon emissions in the maritime industry will not only reduce our overall domestic emissions, but also build global competitiveness in this growth segment. It is with this in view that my Government will soon launch an action plan for green shipping.”

“Our ambition is to cut greenhouse gas emissions from domestic shipping and fishing by 50 % by 2030 – compared to 2005 levels.”

“By 2022, there will be about 70 battery-powered ferries in Norwegian waters – one third of the world’s total. But we must remember that we also need to develop third and fourth generation technology, even while the first and second generations are still in their infancy. That is why we will have car ferries with hydrogen-electric propulsion in place as early as 2021.”

Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization, took the stage to outline some of the challenges facing the industry, and how the IMO has worked to meet these challenges, including developing regulations for lowering emissions, ballast water treatment and the Polar Code for operating in polar waters.

Avoid “pirates” – Nobel laureate Paul M. Romer
Avoid “pirates” – Nobel laureate Paul M. Romer

Paul M. Romer, a recipient of the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, provided valuable insights into how, among other things, the industry should be wary of economic “pirates” as it strives to develop long-term economic growth in the ocean space.

Speaking about “exponential technologies”, Ramez Naam, Chair of Energy & Environmental Systems at Singularity University, set the stage for a panel discussion – “Technology & innovation: How do we prepare for the next big step?” Naam, along with Ann-Christin Andersen, Chief Digital Officer, TechnipFMC Worldwide and Lasse Kristoffersen, CEO of Torvald Klaveness.

The panel discussion, enabled by Moderator Nisha Pillai, took up the challenge of applying digitalisation in the industry. From training to providing “sandboxes” for experimentation and innovation development, the discussion was lively.

Nor-ShippingEmissions and digitalisation – two dominant topics that will resonate throughout this week’s Nor-Shipping.