Disruptive Technologies Climate Change and Shipping

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Liability for climate damage and shipping

Liability for climate damage and shipping

Ewan McGaughey

13.1 Introduction

Climate damage, caused by burning coal, oil and gas, is the existential challenge of the 21st century, and the greatest threat to life on Earth since the end of the cold war. It is reversible, because nearly all uses of fossil fuels can already be replaced at lower financial cost (and far lower environmental cost) on our current state of technology. Wind, solar and batteries are now cheaper than coal, oil or gas-fired power stations.2 The total cost of vehicle ownership for most kinds of land transport is already cheaper for electric than for petrol or diesel.3 Shipping, however, presents a particular challenge, since the technology to develop heavy cargo and tankers is still in development. So how can the global shipping industry be helped to play its part in the fight to stop climate damage?

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