IMO and the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) have launched the preparatory phase for the Blue Solutions Project with a dedicated regional kick-off meeting held on 28 June. The preparatory project, which is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of Germany, aims to help East and Southeast Asian countries identify opportunities to prevent and reduce maritime transport emissions in line with their national, regional and international commitments. These will then be integrated into a full-fledged technical assistance project that will focus on demonstration of potential solutions.
The Blue Solutions Project preparation phase will include discussion with Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, who could potentially receive funding support from a full-size Euro 15 million project to target reduction of greenhouse gases and other polluting emissions from maritime sector with focus on ports, ships and hinterland transport (transport into and out of ports). These emission reduction goals will be achieved by assessing the emission baselines, developing national roadmaps and demonstrating potential solutions for energy efficiency improvements and optimized processes.
The Asia-focused project aims to promote knowledge sharing and cooperation in the region and will see consultation with strategic knowledge partner countries Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore. It is also expected to catalyse additional investments and co-financing from other stakeholders including financial institutions.
More than 80 representatives from across various parts of the national governments and key maritime stakeholders including financial institutions attended this kick-off meeting. In addition to identifying the intersect between the aims of regional and national stakeholders, the meeting also served as a means to explain the national consultation process ahead for the preparation of the full-fledged project. The delegates were welcomed by Dr. Sabine Lattemann, Senior Policy Advisor on shipping at the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Jose Matheickal, Chief of Department of Partnerships and Projects at IMO and Aimee Gonzales, Executive Director, PEMSEA.
Ministries and industry representatives of project participating countries, key regional partners (including MTCC Asia) and International Financial Institutions all provided input to the discussion, which showcased willingness from all participants to work intensively in the upcoming months to finalize preparations of the Blue Solutions Project, in line with respective country priorities and regional needs. It is expected that the preparatory activities will be concluded by end of 2021 so that the full-size project can be commissioned by beginning of 2022.
The IMO-PEMSEA Blue Solutions project has synergy with IMO's other ongoing GHG-related technical assistance projects and initiatives such as the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 project, the IMO-EU GMN Project, the IMO-Republic of Korea GHG SMART Project, the IMO-EBRD-WB FinSMART initiative and IMO Singapore NextGEN initiative.