Wind of change: why a new age of sail power will save the planet

World

Wind of change: why a new age of sail power will save the planet

Shipbuilders are going old school as the need to reduce carbon emissions kicks in – and because, well, wind is free

David Millward

The Cutty Sark epitomised the heyday of the sailing clippers which transported goods around the world until the shipping industry was revolutionised by the advent of steam in the 19th century. Now another revolution is in the offing with wind-powered cargo ships making a comeback, resurrecting a technology many believed had been confined to the history books.

Rising fuel costs and the drive to decarbonise shipping are paving the way for the modern equivalent of clipper ships – such as the Cutty Sark – to sail the seas once more.

Underpinning the revolution is the International Maritime Organisation, which has set a target of bringing shipping carbon emissions down to half their 2008 level by 2050...

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