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Yachting and Public Opinion - Rough Seas Ahead?

6 October 2022

The yachting industry has always been very discreet, largely unknown to the general public.  The seizing of yachts of Russian oligarchs has placed our industry on the front page of mainstream media, from CNN to the FT, opening it up to public scrutiny.

Since then, a number of initiatives have recently been launched which will impact the way we operate: 

  • In 2023, the Maritime industry will be included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Yachts are - for the time being - excluded. However, powerful environmental NGOs are lobbying the European Commission to include yachting in the new scheme.

  • In July 2022, a private initiative to track the routes of superyachts and calculate their greenhouse gas emissions was launched. It is drawing much interest and public support (this follows a similar initiative tracking private jets owned by Elon Musk, other businessmen and artists). 

  • On 24thSeptember 2022, climate activists blocked a quayside in Port Vauban (Antibes) - one of the most popular superyacht marinas in the Mediterranean, to protest against what they deem to be ultra-rich ‘climate criminals'.

The above projects/actions are firmly establishing Yachting in the "court of public opinion".  Collectively, we cannot ignore these issues and requests for public accountability. Individually, we are all custodians of the image of our industry and there is much we can do to improve the public image of yachting, thus consolidating our “license to operate.”

Watch my interview with Yachting International Radio

Photo credit: Courrier Picard

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