Petersberg Climate Dialogue series - Turning the tides: Setting shipping on course

Petersberg Climate Dialogue series
Turning the tides: Setting shipping on course
Satellite event at this year's virtual Petersberg Climate Dialogue.
6 May 2021  (Virtual event)

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,  

I am pleased to speak to you today on shipping’s course towards decarbonization. I thank the Ministers of Transport and Environment of Germany for their invitation.  

Highlight IMO’s climate changes and decarbonization efforts

Shipping is on a course to decarbonize. 

IMO Member States, in 2018, adopted the initial GHG strategy with a clear goal to phase out GHG emissions from shipping.

We must build on the achievements so far.

IMO, as the global regulator and global forum for shipping matters, adopted the first mandatory measures to improve energy efficiency of new build ships nearly 10 years ago. 

This June, IMO is expected to adopt important short-term measures to cut carbon intensity of all ships. 

The adoption of any mandatory measures is being supported by a comprehensive impact assessment of the measures on States, paying particular attention to the needs of developing countries.

We will also see key discussions in June on how to structure the work plan in relation to GHG matters, as well as proposals from Member States and industry for candidate mid- and long-term measures to in-centivize the move away from fossil fuels to low-carbon fuels to achieve Decarbonization of international shipping. 

We will revise our initial GHG strategy in 2023 with the benefit of the experience gained and the developments in the global maritime community.

The way forward is complex, but there is willingness to move forward, while taking into account the differing needs of countries, who all rely on trade by sea. 

Shipping will undoubtedly need new technologies, new fuels and innovation. There needs to be investment in R&D, infrastructure and trials. 

Besides the regulatory developments, IMO wants to further promote and accelerate research and development into low- and zero-carbon marine fuels. 

We want to expand on and build partnerships between stakeholders, among public and private sectors, not only in the shipping and port industry, but also private and development banks, and academia. 

We need even more commitment from stakeholders, donor countries, partners and industry, so that our capacity-building work and various partnership projects continue to support developing countries.  

I wish to thank the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, through the International Climate Initiative, for the recent substantial financial commitment to a new Asia Maritime Transport Emissions project - known as the Blue Solutions Project in partnership with IMO. 

This project aims to support East and Southeast Asian countries in identifying opportunities to prevent and reduce transport emissions.

I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the support for IMO capacity building projects from other donors and partners, including the European Union, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank. 

The support of our donors is critical in demonstrating that we are all united in the fight against climate change in the maritime sector. 
We need to work together and ensure no one is left behind.

Our ongoing partnership initiatives include: 
the IMO-EU Global MTCC Network Project, 
the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 project and its Global Industry Alliance, 
the IMO-Republic of Korea GHG SMART project, 
the IMO-UNEP Maritime Innovation Forum, 
the IMO-EBRD-World Bank FINSMART Roundtable, and
The IMO-Singapore NextGEN initiative.

We remain open to discuss further offers of support and collaboration and it is my sincere hope that more donors would come forward to support IMO’s capacity building efforts. 

All our initiatives have one common goal – to strengthen partnerships, build capacity and accelerate innovation and technology uptake, 
and to address the Decarbonization challenges faced by developing countries and in particular the Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries. 

Trials and pilots under IMO projects are showing what can be done. These range from zero carbon auxiliary energy to power the lighting on ships --- to the full use of Digitalization to reduce emissions from ships with “just-in-time” arrival. 

The examples and lessons learnt will benefit other States in the region thus scaling up the impact of the projects

We all have a part to play in addressing challenges and pushing blue sky thinking to develop and implement solutions. 

To keep pace with the demands of the global economy and the expectations for sustainable growth, the maritime world needs to be in the forefront of transformational change. 

We need to facilitate decarbonization and enhance digitalization for safer, more environmentally friendly, and efficient shipping. 

We need to work together to combat Climate Change through development of low and zero carbon fuels. 

We need even more commitment from stakeholders, donor countries, partners and industry, so that our capacity-building work and various partnership projects continue to support developing countries. 

We want to focus on collaboration on initiatives that address the needs of developing countries.
No single stakeholder can make Decarbonization of shipping a reality by acting alone. 

Meeting ambitious climate action and decarbonization goals will require cooperation and collaboration of all maritime stakeholder so that we can develop innovative solutions, together. 

I wish this highly meaningful event another success story. 

Thank you.