Norwegian banker Jan Ole Huseby says shipping is coming up way short on its decarbonisation investments so far.

But the head of global ocean industries at Oslo-listed lender DNB said his bank is here to help.

Speaking to Nor-Shipping ahead of the June conference, Huseby said: “There’s a gap between ambition and reality at present, and if we don’t work to bridge that divide we face a grave challenge.”

Referring to findings from the International Energy Agency (IEA), he pointed out that annual investments in clean energy need to reach $4.4trn in 2030.

The average annual investment between 2016 and 2021 was $1.2trn.

“There’s a need for massive investment to transform the ocean industries, both here in Norway and across the world,” Huseby said.

Priorities are offshore wind and carbon capture and storage — both “cash-hungry” developments, the financier believes.

But deals are being done. Huseby said DNB has already handled numerous “large bond transactions” this year.

And the Oslo-headquartered bank has provided more than $2bn in funding to the offshore wind service sector over the last two to three years.

“We don’t want to take a ‘watch and wait’ approach,” Huseby said.

“It’s our ambition to assume a leading role; exercising a positive influence where we can, building understanding to be a better partner and advisor for clients, and helping accelerate the transition. There are many ways we can contribute here.”

Everyone has an opinion

As for the future direction of shipping decarbonisation, he said: “There are as many opinions as shipowners out there.

“So I think the industry needs a flexible approach — as we can already [see] manifesting itself in the growing orders for dual-fuel vessels — and help with assessments of low and zero-emissions technology from a financial perspective, building good business cases for adoption. We’re here to help in that respect.”

He said DNB has yet to fund many breakthrough alternative fuel vessel projects.

But the bank is following developments with interest, in particular in sail power and ammonia fuel.