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Setting a course for shipping’s Mission (Im)Possible

Photo: ICS Mr Emanuele Grimaldi and Mr Chen Jining[30].jpg
File photo Emanuele Grimaldi meeting with China Shipowner Assocation
The shipping’s ‘mission’ for its energy and technological transition in the absence of alternative compatible fuels and technologies presents a major challenge for shipowners, according to the presidents of four industry associations.

With a regulatory milestone vision of complete decarbonisation by 2050, the owners emphasised the need for a clearer policy direction as achieving the goal constitutes a complex issue for global shipping.

This was the clear message delivered by Emanuele Grimaldi, Chairman of ICS, Philippos Philis, President of ECSA, Gaby Bornheim, President of the Verband Deutscher Reeder (VDR), and Nikolaus H. Schües, President of Bimco when discussing ‘Sustainable Shipping towards 2050: a Mission (Im)Possible?’ a panel moderated by Themis Papadopoulos, President of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber organised by the Chamber during the three-day Maritime Cyprus 2023 in Limassol.

Grimaldi suggested that one way to accelerate the development of affordable low and zero-carbon fuels and technologies is to develop a “fund and reward” mechanism to incentivise shipowners who quickly transition to green technologies and fuels, while it will contribute billions of dollars annually to produce alternative fuels and establish fuel supply infrastructure in developing countries.

Philis called on the European Commission to address fuel suppliers by introducing specific targets for the availability of low and zero-carbon maritime fuels, thus enhancing the "FuelEU Maritime" initiative, rather than making it the exclusive responsibility of shipowners to achieve climate goals.

Schües expressed optimism about the industry's ability to meet challenges and focus on opportunities during this transitional period while Dr. Bornheim emphasised the need for a regulatory framework that extends beyond the European Union and is compatible to an international and multifaceted industry such as shipping.