Opening remarks by the IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim

Excellencies, distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen, both here at COP27 and following us remotely.  

 Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening.  

 It is a great pleasure to welcome you to this event which forms an important contribution by the international shipping community to COP 27.  

 Decarbonizing international shipping is a priority issue for IMO, and all of us involved in this sector are committed to act together in achieving the highest possible level of ambition. 

 Last year, IMO and UNCTAD organized a side event during COP26 in Glasgow that addressed – for the first time – the opportunities developing countries may have in providing zero-carbon fuels to global shipping.  

Following that event’s success, and having seen the interest of many countries and stakeholders from the shipping, port and energy sectors to explore these opportunities further, I am glad that the World Bank and IRENA have joined us this year to co-organize this event. 

 Decarbonizing international shipping requires a rapid shift from today’s predominant use of fossil fuels to zero-carbon alternatives.  

 But shipping is also a key enabler of the global energy transition as it serves global trade and sustainable development in a safe, clean, efficient and affordable way.  

 I am encouraged to see many recent announcements on upscaling renewable marine fuel production infrastructure around the world, including earlier this week here at COP.  

 Many developing countries around the world have abundant access to renewable energy sources, so I see a lot of potential for these countries to play a key role in the production and supply side of renewable fuels for the global shipping industry.  

 However, we need to collectively increase our efforts in this area to maximize these opportunities.   

 IMO, as the regulator of international shipping, is making fast progress in defining the global regulatory framework consisting of technical and economic measures that will set global shipping on an ambitious path to phasing out its GHG emissions by the middle of this century.  

 So, incentivizing the availability and scalability of low- and zero-carbon marine fuels and technologies and ensuring the ability of all countries to take part in this transition is paramount for IMO.  

 Therefore, in parallel to our work on defining global greenhouse gas reduction measures, we actively work with partners within the UN-family and the private sector on supporting developing States with adjusting to the energy transition while we address capacity, technology and infrastructure needs. 

 IMO has initiated a wide range of projects and a knowledge partnership mechanism that bring together IMO's maritime expertise and an unrivalled global network, while our partners provide experience, investment and financial expertise, other resources and in-kind support.  

 By means of these joint initiatives, IMO, with partners such as UNCTAD, the World Bank and IRENA, assists Member States in developing the necessary capacity and infrastructure to promote renewable fuel production and make it available for the global shipping industry.  

 Duing this event you will hear from distinguished speakers from Brazil, Egypt, Namibia, Singapore and United Arab Emirates about their experiences and perspectives in setting up the necessary national and international policies and infrastructure that will make the energy transition a reality. 

 Ladies and gentlemen, 

 I sincerely thank all the panellists for sharing their experiences and all participants today, both here and those joining us remotely, for your interest. 

 Collaboration and partnerships will help us in finding solutions to the issues we face today and IMO, as the leading global forum to regulate international shipping, will continue to support the decarbonization journey and promote a just and equitable transition to zero-carbon shipping, leaving no one behind.  

 I wish you an inspiring event and hope to see many of you again in December in London when IMO’s negotiations resume on defining the decarbonization framework for global shipping, duly taking into account the outcomes of COP 27.  

 Thank you.