Second IMO Symposium on low- and zero-carbon fuels for shipping: "Ensuring a just and inclusive transition towards low-carbon shipping"

Second IMO Symposium on low- and zero-carbon fuels for shipping: "Ensuring a just and inclusive transition towards low-carbon shipping" 
Opening speech Secretary General Kitack Lim

21 October 2022

Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening.

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to this Second IMO Symposium on alternative low- and zero-carbon fuels for shipping. Decarbonizing international shipping is a priority issue for IMO and we are all committed to act together in achieving the highest possible ambition.

Following the success of last year's Symposium and having heard the interest of many members of the Organization at the last MEPC for such an informative event to help inform the organization's work and discussions on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, the theme of this year's symposium is "Ensuring a just and inclusive transition towards low-carbon shipping".

This reflects the need to support the maritime sector's energy transition while leaving no one behind.

IMO Member States are actively engaged in the process of revising the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships and in developing a basket of candidate mid-term measures, including technical and economic elements, that will set global shipping on an ambitious path to phasing out GHG emissions towards the middle of this century. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all IMO Member States, industry representatives and experts for the tremendous efforts to date. We are now approaching a critical point towards finalizing the decarbonization strategy by mid-2023.

Incentivizing the availability and scalability of low- and zero-carbon marine fuels and technologies and ensuring the ability of all Member States to take part in this transition is paramount. In parallel, we need to look at any measures that may need to be put in place to address safety issues related to alternative fuels.

As well as new technologies and new fuels, we should not forget that we will need relevant training for the maritime workforce as we chart the way forward to decarbonize international shipping.

During this symposium you will hear from prominent speakers and experts about many elements of the "just and equitable" transition, including in overcoming global barriers to access to low- and zero-carbon marine fuels, especially with regards to demand, price and scale.

While there are significant obstacles to overcome in our decarbonization journey, we must not forget that this transition also comes with significant opportunities, including for developing countries, such as the expansion of renewable energy production or the inclusion of developing countries in route-based action plans.

You will also hear about the need to reinforce links between shipping and other sectors, such as the energy and port industries.

Central to this symposium is the question of the inclusivity of this transition. We need all hands on deck to overcome obstacles, identify safe travel routes and successfully decarbonize international shipping.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I thank the Marine Environment Division for putting together a very interesting programme and I am very much looking forward to the interventions of our eminent speakers and panellists joining us today in this informal setting.

I am confident that their knowledge and views will benefit all. I also thank all the participants today – here in the room and those joining us remotely – for your interest. Collaboration and partnership will help us in finding solutions to the issues we face today.

IMO, as the leading global forum to regulate international shipping, will continue to support this decarbonisation journey and to promote a just and equitable transition, leaving no one behind.

And I will continue to put all my effort in facilitating and supporting the finalization of the revision of the GHG Initial Strategy and further development of the basket of mid-term measures.

Thank you.