In a rallying opening keynote of the “Shaping the Future of Shipping: Delivering a Net Zero World”, during COP28 in Dubai, Mrs. Melina Travlos, President of the Union of Greek Shipowners & Chair of the Board of Neptune Group of Companies, told attendees: “Our purpose and inspiration is our own survival, the survival of humanity. Collaboration, determination, and commitment from all of us are key to successfully bringing effective decarbonisation within our grasp”.
The Summit - organised by a coalition of leading maritime industry bodies and coordinated by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) in partnership with the Emirates Shipping Association – was held under the patronage of the United Arab Emirates Ministry for Energy and Infrastructure at Dubai’s iconic Museum of the Future.
Providing a platform for governments and leaders in energy, maritime, and all parts of the value chain, to discuss practical solutions for infrastructure, fuel availability, and financing, and how to prepare the maritime workforce to accelerate the transition to a low and zero carbon emission economy, Mrs Travlos was keen to emphasise that “shipping has outperformed most other industrial sectors when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, considering that it is a fossil fuel captive industry.”
She added: “Bear in mind that shipping carries around 90% of global trade and emits less than 1/15th of the top emitting single country and that during the past 20 years or so, shipping activity has almost doubled; yet emissions from shipping in terms of global CO2 output have fallen from around 2.9% to 2.2%.”
Making it clear that this is not enough and more needs to be done, Mrs Travlos continued: Therefore, we embrace the International Maritime Organisation’s more ambitious targets as agreed in its landmark 2023 Green House Gas Reduction Strategy and we are moving beyond aspirational initiatives and looking to implement pragmatic, fit-for-purpose solutions. Business and environmental sustainability must go hand in hand.”
“We are dependent on developments of the supply side for the full decarbonisation of our industry. Shipping will continue to do its utmost within its area of direct control. However, it is important to note that the IMO only regulates ships. It cannot directly regulate fuel producers, suppliers, ports, charterers, or even shipbuilders, all whose contribution to decarbonisation is indispensable.
“The activity and the investments needed to achieve the IMO strategy’s goals are intense, wide-ranging and must be executed on two fronts: Upgrading the sustainable transition of the existing fleet and investing in new buildings.
“The revised IMO strategy, with its nearer deadlines, poses additional challenges for the existing fleet, the vast majority of which will be operating during the transition period until 2050. As we speak 4,800 ships are on order, with delivery dates up to 2030.
“As a first step, the development of globally available alternative drop-in fuels for the shipping industry must be a priority. Likewise, carbon capture can help further reduce existing ships’ emissions and compensate for the likely non-availability of clean fuel. It is indeed a fact that shipping will compete with all other sectors for new fuels. And shipping will be a minor player in their demand, given the enormous demand for energy on land. But ultimately, permanent decarbonisation necessarily entails a new generation of safe propulsion, abatement technologies and fuels. As mentioned, this effort requires contribution from, and the coordination of, a significant range of out-of-sector stakeholders. The time to act is now.”
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