IMO-Singapore Future of Shipping Conference
6 April 2022
Opening remarks by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning and good afternoon.
It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to the joint IMO-Singapore Future of Shipping Conference: Decarbonization, during Singapore Maritime Week.
I would like to express my appreciation to our co-organizers, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, for their support and continued cooperation for this very important event.
Shipping is undergoing a significant transition to meet the demands for sustainable transport and to address climate change by cutting emissions.
IMO adopted the first mandatory global measures to improve ships' energy efficiency more than a decade ago and we have been strengthening those requirements, recognizing the global imperative to do more.
Despite the challenges related to the pandemic, IMO Member States have worked intensely over the past two years, adopting a comprehensive set of amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, which provide important building blocks for IMO's future mid-term GHG measures.
The strengthened revised IMO GHG strategy is set to be adopted in 2023.
Essential work must be completed to set the path for the decarbonization of the shipping industry, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement of 2015 and with a view to the Glasgow Climate Pact adopted at COP 26. The initiatives clearly underscore the need for accelerated action in this decade.
Without a doubt, achieving decarbonization ambitions in the shipping sector will rely on new technologies and a smooth transition to alternative low- and zero-carbon marine fuels.
There are many challenges to overcome in order to sustain the momentum of decarbonization in shipping – but this also presents excellent opportunities for us all to work together for a greener future.
I am impressed and excited by the many initiatives at different levels, targeting different segments of the shipping ecosystem, in a bid to find ways to reduce GHG emissions from ships.
In this connection, the NextGEN initiative (with "GEN" standing for "Green and Efficient Navigation"), launched in collaboration with Singapore, hosts a global platform for decarbonization projects to connect and discuss areas of collaboration.
The dedicated NextGEN information hub links key stakeholders across the maritime value chain, enabling them to undertake coordinated actions for decarbonizing the sector and building sufficient capacity among least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS).
To move forward towards the goal of the IMO GHG Initial Strategy, a new initiative "NextGEN Connect" has been introduced to bring together different stakeholders to consider solutions for inclusive maritime decarbonization.
NextGEN Connect aims to achieve this through the exploration of the development of route-based action plans where the various stakeholders could propose collaborative and innovative decarbonization solutions on a specific maritime route.
I am pleased to say that the IMO-Singapore NextGEN Connect initiative will be launched today on a pilot basis.
In addition to these efforts, R&D collaboration, information sharing, and capacity-building will be key to ensure no one is left behind in the push for the decarbonization of the shipping sector.
In this context, another new framework initiative, called IMO CARES - "Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping" - has been added to IMO's portfolio of GHG-projects and is also being launched here.
IMO CARES aims to link Research & Development initiatives to accelerate demonstration of green technologies and promote their deployment in a manner that assists blue economic growth in developing regions.
I thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for providing the seed funding for the preparatory phase of this project and I look forward to many donors and partners coming forward for the implementation of this innovative full-scale project.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The transition to a decarbonized maritime sector cuts across all aspects of shipping – from the supply and use of fuels to safety matters, port operations and training of seafarers. The trials on use of new technologies and zero-carbon maritime fuels will support a safe shift, and we must ensure a just and equitable transition that recognizes the need for skills and technology development in developing countries.
We need everyone involved to be active in sharing their knowledge and experiences, to support the implementation of the strategy and the measures adopted by IMO.
Today, we are taking further steps by coming together to share information on decarbonization initiatives in line with this year's World Maritime theme – New technologies for Greener Shipping.
I am grateful to all of you for participating and I look forward to fruitful discussions