The Beacon

Sailing into the Future

The global shipping fleet is a major emitter of carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants, which is why Oceana has petitioned the EPA to regulate global warming pollution from the shipping industry.

News broke sometime last week of a new innovation:

With the shipping industry accounting for 3 percent of global CO2 emissions, environmental groups are urging shipping companies to reduce emissions. And with fuel prices continuing to climb, shipping companies are looking for ways to become more efficient.

The Beluga Shipping Company recently killed these two birds with one stone when it set sail from Germany to Venezuela using a kite made by German company, SkySails.  

The kite measures 160 square meters (1,722 square feet) and gives Beluga's large cargo ship some extra pull when the winds are right.  A new twist on an old method of transport, adding a sail or kite to medium-size cargo ships, cruise liners, or trawlers can cut fuel use by 10 percent to 20 percent or more, saving roughly $1500 per day.  

Sails can save money and decrease emissions, a win-win for the shipping industry.  

To learn more about the new technology, read coverage of the event by the New York Times and BBC. To learn more about Oceana and global warming, visit our climate website.

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