Bulletin: What is on the horizon?

This time 12 months ago here in the UK we were beginning to realise the impact this new disease, Covid-19, may have on us. A year on we are beginning to see what looks like real progress through the rollout of the vaccines across the country with the government hitting its target of vaccinating 15million people by 15 February. Next week the Prime Minister will unveil his roadmap out of lockdown. How much detail will be in there is anyone’s guess but we have made representation to the government about where we think areas can be unlocked, to the benefit of our members, when safe to do so. We will be monitoring the speech closely and hope to see some tangible outcomes.

Last week over 550 people attended our first Virtual Conference: Creating Pathways to 2030. We wanted to focus on the challenges in the short-to-medium term with much of the discussions on the environment. I was delighted to see this week the news that Maersk have announced plans for the first carbon-neutral container vessel by 2023, powered by methanol, and to have a carbon neutral fleet by 2050. This is great news for the environment and the shipping community, demonstrating to the public, politicians and international organisations, the commitment of the industry to decarbonise and potentially setting a path for others to follow. (Please note that the video recordings of the keynote speakers and breakout sessions from the virtual conference are being uploaded and will be available next week. Details will be sent out to inform you of where these can be viewed once they are live.)

Many of you reading this will know someone who has gone above and beyond in the Merchant Navy in the past year. Seafarers have been the unsung heroes of the pandemic and now we have the opportunity to recognise some of these individuals as nominations are now open for the 2021 Merchant Navy Medal. This state award is for those who are serving or have served in the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets of the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands for exemplary service and devotion to duty, rewarding those who have set an outstanding example to others. Links to the Department for Transport Nomination Form & Guidance Notes and details of the 2020 Awards and the previous Merchant Navy Medal winners are available here: www.merchantnavymedal.org. Please do get nominating.