Lords Arctic Committee to question shipping industry experts

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ice and sun

The House of Lords Committee on the Arctic will next week question leading experts on the shipping industry as it continues its inquiry.

Ongoing changes to sea ice in the Arctic could have a profound impact on the global shipping industry, opening up a new route – or possibly routes – that could potentially reduce days at sea, shorten journey times and provide competition to traditional shipping routes, such as through the Suez Canal. There has been a significant increase in the number of ships using the Northern Sea Route along the Siberian coastline to cross the Arctic; in 2010 there were only 4 such voyages but by 2012 there were 46.

The evidence session will start at 10:40am on Tuesday 29th July. The following witnesses will be giving evidence to the Committee:

• Kiran Khosla, Director of Legal Affairs, International Chamber of Shipping.
• Colin Manson, Director, Manson Oceanographic Consultancy.
• Dr Martin Stopford, Clarkson Research.

Areas the session is expected to cover include:

• How realistic is the prospect of a significant increase in trans-Arctic shipping? Are the prospects for transit shipping different from those for ‘destination based’ shipping in and out of the Arctic?
• What type of cargo or operation might be attracted to the opening up of Arctic routes? Where are the ships likely to be going from and to?
• Is the required infrastructure in place in the Arctic region to support a strong and safe shipping industry?
• Is there a lack of legal clarity about the status of Arctic waters? What impact does this have on Arctic shipping?
• How might any increase in Arctic shipping benefit the UK? What are the implications for UK national and commercial interests?

You can follow the Committee on Twitter: @LordsArcticCom