Technical Forum focusses on the opportunity presented by decarbonisation

A wide-ranging discussion by maritime experts from across the Red Ensign Group about its potential role to drive forward sustainable future fuel solutions has formed a large part of the first day of Technical Forum. 

The group from right across the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies has been looking at how it might bring its expertise to bear in how decarbonisation will be driven forward in maritime. 

Ashley Stehr, assistant director, Maritime Future Technologies, Maritime and Coastguard Agency said that it was a real moment to step up and lead the way.  

He said: "Decarbonisation isn’t just an on-vessel matter, it’s a systems issue for the whole maritime sector, including shore side infrastructure and energy supply. Although there are challenges, we should also focus on the opportunity it presents." 

Julian Smith, principal surveyor with Cayman Islands Shipping Registry said: "Owners are serious about reducing their environmental impact. We’re receiving more enquiries from designers, more enquiries from shipyards, more enquiries from management companies." 

Gwilym Stone, assistant director, Ship Standards, MCA said: "At the moment we’re looking at these on a case-by-case basis but we are pivoting towards building the regulatory framework for the future. For now, we keep enabling the here and now while also looking to the regulatory frameworks for the future. These are our key challenges."

Greg Evans (Cayman Islands), co-chair of the REG Technical Forum said: "I see a massive opportunity for the REG in terms of being able to develop regulations to accommodate new technologies. We are known in the industry for being really good at developing regulations to accommodate different aspects as we’ve done with the REG Yacht Code."

His co-chair, Richard Pellew (MCA) said: "As Flags we represent our respective governments in the maritime sector and therefore have a key role in how the necessary infrastructure, from well-to-wake, that alternative fuels will require, will be implemented.  

"More broadly, we will also be lending our technical expertise to looking for opportunities to transpose emerging ship based decarbonising solutions to land-based power generation and emissions reduction across the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies." 

Thirty members of the Red Ensign Group have been meeting in person and online for the first Technical Forum for the year. 

The group continues to be committed to pioneering technology, sharing resources and continuing to improve the expertise it offers to the maritime world at large as well as its own members. 

Delegates representing Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Monserrat, St Helena, Turks and Caicos and the UK are all involved in the two day forum.