World Economic Forum: Transport Day of the Race to Zero Dialogues

11 November 2020 Pre-recorded opening remarks Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, 

Today, economies are ever more interdependent and natural resources are under increasing pressure.

The transition of the maritime sector towards a more sustainable future has never been more important, nor more opportune. As we confront the COVID-19 pandemic, we must forge a sustainable recovery, in which combating climate change is paramount.

IMO has adopted an initial strategy to reduce GHG emissions from ships. The specific goal is to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, which is a significant reduction in carbon intensity for individual ships of over 80%.

At the same time, IMO is pursuing efforts to phase out GHG emissions from shipping entirely, as soon as possible within this century.

As a first step to achieve these ambitious goals, we are expected to adopt measure to meaningfully reduce ship's carbon intensity.

These measures will drive innovation and design for energy efficiency and also provide essential building blocks for future emission reduction measures.

But we need to go further.

To reach a zero-carbon future for shipping,   we will need new technologies, new fuels and innovation.

Decarbonization will only be possible with targeted investment and strategic partnerships, which also address the needs of developing countries.

Exciting research and development into zero-carbon marine fuels is underway – renewable hydrogen or ammonia for example – but more action is needed to speed up this process and this means huge investments in R&D and infrastructure.

To achieve this, IMO is stepping up its efforts to act as the global forum and promoter of R&D in low- and zero-carbon marine fuels,  bringing together interested stakeholders, from public and private sectors, private and development banks and other donors.

In parallel, IMO will embark on innovative emission reduction mechanisms to incentivise the uptake of alternative renewable fuels.

We want to ensure that no country is left behind in this energy transition. IMO continues to lead the way with the portfolio of continuously expanding technical cooperation and capacity building projects.

IMO's GHG Strategy has sent a clear signal that now is the time to start developing the vessels, the fuels and all the other necessary infrastructure to support zero-emission of shipping.

The route to zero carbon shipping will not be easy, but I am hopeful that the range of initiatives I have highlighted --- will lead the way.

Maritime trade is vital to the world's economy. We must all work together to enable a sustainable post-pandemic recovery and to ensure that shipping has a truly sustainable, decarbonized future.

Thank you.


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