Nor-Shipping Ocean Leadership Conference
Oslo, Norway, 4 April
Keynote under theme: Power: Pro#Action
Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to address you here in Oslo. Since the last Nor-Shipping event in 2019, we have all faced immense challenges.
Shipping is truly essential. The world has been made aware of our dependence on shipping, seafarers and marine personnel. Shipping has continued to deliver vital goods – while many thousands of seafarers have become stranded at sea, working long beyond their contracted time.
The pandemic is still impacting shipping and geopolitical events are never far from our thoughts.
As we navigate our way through what has already been a turbulent decade, it is clear that shipping is voyaging towards an immense transition to meet the demands for sustainable transport, through digitalization and automation, as well as to address climate change by decarbonizing shipping.
We need to redouble our efforts to ensure that shipping is sustainable and that our oceans are preserved. This means ensuring, safe, secure, and efficient transport – and reducing shipping's environmental footprint.
For more than six decades, the International Maritime Organization has developed and adopted a comprehensive set of regulations for maritime safety, security, efficiency, and the protection of the marine environment.
The implementation of our regulations has ensured that Ship casualty rates have declined, and stringent pollution prevention, control and response measures have been implemented globally. The maritime regulatory framework has allowed shipping to continue to deliver world trade even through the pandemic.
But we need to do more.
The importance of global supply chains connecting ships, ports and consumers has become ever more apparent. The enhancement of digitalization and automation to facilitate global maritime trade is a major policy issue that shipping must take on board in 2022 and beyond.
We need to make sure the advantages of digitalization and automation are shared widely. IMO is working to enable shipping to embrace the digital revolution globally – while ensuring safety, boosting environmental protection and managing cyber security risks to facilitate trade and a sustainable maritime transport
When it comes to tackling climate change, shipping is on a course to decarbonize.
IMO adopted the first mandatory global measures to improve ships' energy efficiency more than a decade ago and we have been strengthening those requirements since, 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 in June last year 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 the Glasgow Climate Pact adopted at COP 26.
The latest reports from the IPCC clearly underscore the need for accelerated action in this decade.
In the current year, I am confident that we will make progress in developing a strengthened revised strategy as well as discussing future candidate measures, including market-based measures.
We must and will continue to address the feasibility, effectiveness and assessment of impacts on States in relation to GHG measures proposed and adopted. It is essential that in working together multilaterally, we do not deepen the divide between developed and developing nations.
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.
I am impressed and excited by the many initiatives at different levels, led by different stakeholders, targeting different segments of the shipping ecosystem, working towards ways to reduce GHG emissions from ships.
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 GHG strategy and the measures adopted by IMO.
We must also continue our work to address other pressing issues on our ocean agenda.
IMO, together with partners including the Food and Agriculture Organization, is committed to reducing marine plastic litter entering the marine environment from all ships, including fishing vessels. We must all work hard to achieve the aim set out in the IMO Strategy on Marine Litter, endeavouring to achieve zero plastic waste discharges to sea from ships by 2025.
I look forward to working closely with our UN partners following the United Nations Environment Assembly's recent decision to develop a global treaty on plastic pollution.
This year we will see the ocean agenda making progress throughout a series of important meetings throughout the year, not least the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon later this year.
Finally, I would like to note that this year's World Maritime theme is New Technologies for Greener Shipping.
Here at Nor-Shipping, I am looking forward to seeing and hearing about solutions which will support the maritime industry to become safer, more secure, greener and more resilient supporting the ocean agenda.
I wish you a very successful event.