Eco-ships are actually a burden on the environment, traditional Greek shipowner Spyros Polemis has said.
The former chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping told an Athens conference organised by the Maria Tsakos Foundation and Capital Link: “(It is a) fallacy that the so-called eco-ships will benefit the environment.”
The carbon emissions caused by building a new ship far outweigh the environmental benefits created by their lower fuel consumption, he argued.
“Existing vessels must be allowed to run their course,” Polemis said, accusing some charterers of blacklisting and discriminating against these “slightly older vessels”.
Eco-vessels are only one example where governments and international bodies were rushing into ill-advised initiatives without properly consulting the shipping industry, Polemis said.
“The list is almost endless,” he said, citing rules on the sulphur content of fuel, ballast water management, ship recycling and the maritime convention.
“Politics complicate issues unnecessarily for shipping,” Polemis said, accusing governments of being under too much influence from environmental organisations and rushing to “knee-jerk reactions” which fail to take account of all the facts.
“Politicians never give credit to the industry for the efficiency it operates, much less seek to consult it in a meaningful way on future regulations before positions become entrenched”.
“Shipping must be given a seat at the top table… it should be treated with the same respect that is due to a sovereign nation,” Polemis said, arguing that the industry is indispensable to the world economy.
“They say that a certain profession is the oldest in the world, but I wonder whether shipping has that distinction”.
Source: tradewinds news. 8 October 2014