Shipping’s net zero challenge explored at ABS chief’s Inaugural Visiting Professorship Lecture in Singapore


“People working together, embracing change and uncertainty, learning to make innovation their friend and managing risk decisions based on data will be the jet fuel we need to get to net zero by 2050.”

That was the message from Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman and CEO, as he delivered a wide-ranging speech detailing the challenges and opportunities of the energy transition in shipping for the inaugural Seatrium Visiting Professorship Lecture.

Due to overwhelming demand for the event, titled ‘What Does the Calculus of Net Zero By 2050 Mean – Challenges and Opportunities’, organisers had to livestream it to a second location. Viewers heard Wiernicki set out the industry’s decarbonisation pathways, analysing the regulatory and technology landscape and exploring how data and systems would transform shipping into a multidimensional industry. He also outlined how this change would in turn demand an entirely new skill set emphasising collaboration, shared responsibility and continuous learning.
“People, not technology are the real heroes, but technology will impact the talent equation,” said Wiernicki. “Today’s talent equation couples technology and people with continuous learning models to develop leaders who have systems and design thinking skills and greater strategic perspective centred around technical feasibility, economic viability and social sustainability. The industry will need to invest in this training and continue to invest in you!”

The Seatrium Professorship series at the National University of Singapore College of Design and Engineering looks to attract top talent from the energy transition and sustainability sectors to Singapore to promote knowledge transfer and support development of innovative technology and processes.

Wiernicki concluded: “The challenge and the opportunity I have mapped out tonight is yours. Meeting this challenge – a task fundamental to the sustainability not only of our industry but our planet – is going to be your job. The training you receive at this fine institution will be critical to equipping you with the skills you will need to deliver on the decarbonisation promises we are making today.”