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The Shipping Industry Transformed 100 Years Ago. It Can Do it Again

The story of how the shipping industry ditched coal for diesel a century ago shows it could go green fast

The shipping industry could be responsible for about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The shipping industry could be responsible for about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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When the diesel-powered MS Selandia set sail on her maiden voyage in February 1912, people were so astonished by the sight of an ocean liner that didn’t spew steam they named it the “phantom ship.”