Zero-and Low-Emission Innovation Forum: 27-29 September 2021


About the Zero- and Low Emission Innovation Forum 

The IMO-UNEP-Norway Zero-and Low-Emission Innovation Forum is a three-day online/virtual global platform aimed at championing innovation to accelerate the transition of the marine sector towards a zero- and low-emission future. It was held on 27-29 September 2021 and focused on addressing specific needs of developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  

The Forum is supported by the Government of Norway, the IMO Secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in order to promote innovation by providing a global platform to exchange best practices and fill necessary gaps by gathering ideas and latest developments from all competent international policy makers. (Registrations for 2021 have now closed)

You can download the programme here: Programme IMO-UNEP-Norway Zero-and-Low Emission Innovation Forum.pdf .

Recordings from the forum can be viewed here: 

United Nations Media

Key Goals

The aim of the Innovation Forum is to:

- Exchange best practice between competent international policy makers, maritime, climate change/environmental administrations, technology developers, maritime industry, ports and finance to catalyse collaboration and innovation for climate action in maritime sector and find practical solutions to drive the necessary innovation;   

- Promote innovation through north-south and south-south collaboration with a focus on SIDS and LDCs;

- Fill the existing gaps by providing a global platform to discuss ideas related to promotion of innovation, disseminate latest developments, and promote knowledge management as well as information sharing.  

Focus Areas:

1. Knowledge-sharing globally on best practises to address reduction of GHG emissions from ships. 

2. Finding solutions to identified innovation needs and challenges (especially in developing countries/LDCs and SIDS) including in relation to cooperation needs, funding and/or processes;

3. Addressing technology needs of developing countries, especially SIDS and LDCs as well as research needs for developing innovative GHG technologies and financial needs for their piloting, distribution/entering of the market particularly in developing countries;

4. Strengthening and coordinating global and regional networks/nodes on/for innovation in maritime sector.  

Speakers videos or presentations

  • Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization
  • Ms. Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme
  • Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway
  • Mr. Sveinung Oftedal, Specialist Director, Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment
  • Mr. Jose Matheickal, Chief, Department of Partnerships and Projects, International Maritime Organization 
  • Ms. Lydia Ngugi, Head, Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre, MTCC Africa 
  • Ms. Vivian Rambarath-Parasram, Director and Head of Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre, MTCC Caribbean 
  • Mr. Wei Ruan, Director, Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre, MTCC Asia
  • Mr. Zullah Mohammed, Head, Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre, MTCC Pacific
  • Mr. Ervin Vargas, Technical Director, Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre, MTCC Latin America
  • Ms Rosalinde van der Vlies, Director, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, Clean Planet Directorate
  • Ms. Gyorgyi Gurban, Head, Department for Partnerships and Projects, International Maritime Organization
  • Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President, World Maritime University
  • Ms. Nadine Bresemann, Head of Maritime Transport, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA)
  • Ms. Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore 
  • Mr. Narve Mjøs, Vice President in DNV, and Programme Director of Green Shipping Programme (GSP)
  • Mr. Christoffer Bøhmer, Head, Green Fleet Renewal, Green Shipping Programme
  • Ms. Jane Amilhat, Head of Unit, Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), European Commission
  • Mr. Henk Prins, Chairman, Waterborne Technology Platform, Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) European Commission
  • Mr. Aykut ÖLÇER, Professor in Marine Technology and Innovation, World Maritime University
  • Ms. Rose Mwebaza, Director, Climate Technology Centre & Network, UNFCCC Technology Mechanism
  • Mr. Kenneth Lim, Assistant Chief Executive (Industry), Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore 
  • Mr. Harilaos N. Psaraftis, Professor, Department of Technology, Management and Economics, University of Denmark
  • His Excellency the Minister of Transport Engineer, Saleh bin Nasser bin Al-Jasser, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Ms. Julia Kachynska, Principal Banker, Sustainable Infrastructure Group, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Mr. Mark Radka, Acting Director, Economy Division, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 

Download biographies of confirmed speakers here: IMO UNEP Innovation Forum speaker biographies.pdf

Confirmed panel members

  • HE Laurent Parenté, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Vanuatu to the IMO & IMO TCC Chair
  • Mr. Madhu Nair, Chairman & Managing Director, Cochin Shipyard Ltd, India
  • Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General Maritime Authority of Jamaica
  • Ms. Nancy W Karigithu, Principal Secretary, State Department for Shipping and Maritime in the Ministry of Transport, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Mr. Roel Hoenders, Head, Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency, Marine Environment Devision, International Maritime Organization
  • Mr. Andrew Losos, Senior Sustainable Transport Specialist, The World Bank Group
  • Mr. Gianpiero Nacci, Acting Director, Green Economy and Climate Action, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Mr. Darwin Trisna Djajawinata, Director for Project Development and Advisory PT. Multi Sarana Infrastruktur (SMI) Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Ms. Kavita Sinha, Deputy director, Division of Mitigation and Adaptation, Green Climate Fund
  • Mr. Rolando Morillo, Portfolio Manager, Thematic Investments, Senior Vice President, Rockefeller AM, UNEP FI Member
  • Ms. Ingrid Sidenvall Jegou, Project Director, Global Maritime Forum
  • Mr. Patrick Verhoeven, Managing Director - Policy and Strategy, International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH)
  • Mr. Claudio Abatte, Chair, Global Industry Alliance to Support Low-Carbon Shipping


  • Mr. Craig Eason, Founder, Fathom World
  • Ms. Melanie Noronha, Senior Manager, Public Policy and Thought Leadership, The Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Dr. Bev Mackenzie, Representative at the International Maritime Organization for BIMCO
  • Ms. Diane Gilpin, Founder and CEO, Smart Green Shipping Alliance
  • Ms. Sofia Furstenberg-Scott, Partner, Furstenberg Maritime Advisory
  • Mr. Gavin Allwright, Secretary General, International Wind Ship Association
  • Mr. Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Global Initiatives, The Economist Group
  • Dr. Lorenzo Casarosa, Policy and Professional Engagement Manager, ImaRest


Bridging the emissions gap: The role of international shipping 

Despite a dip in 2020 carbon dioxide emissions due to the impact on economies and travel of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century. International shipping, which transports more than 80% of global trade by volume, in some 60,000 cargo-carrying ships carrying 11 billion tons of world trade. This trade is also  contributing to GHG emissions, which with growing trade volumes under a business-as-usual scenario could without any mitigation action grow further. According to the 4th IMO GHG Study, based on a range of plausible long-term economic and energy business-as-usual scenarios, shipping emissions could represent 90-130% of 2008 emissions by 2050.

About two-thirds of shipping related emissions are international, and hence do not appear in national emissions reporting or decarbonization strategies. In 2018, IMO adopted an Initial GHG Strategy, setting out the ambitious goal of cutting annual greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by at least half by 2050 compared with their level in 2008, and working towards eliminating GHG emissions from shipping as soon as possible in this century. 

Shipping largely depends on liquid fossil fuels, and has inherently long technology development and fleet turnover times. The shipping sector must undergo an energy transition that that needs to combine large improvements in energy efficiency with a rapid transition away from fossil fuel. 

The energy transition in shipping will require new technologies, alternative fuels and infrastructure to support low- and zero-carbon shipping. Shipping is likely to transition from majority reliance on liquid hydrocarbon fuels to a diverse range of alternative sources of energy for ships operating at sea and in ports. 

This energy transition relies on ambitious collaboration and cooperation among many different stakeholders, including land-based energy suppliers and port operators, as well as major investments. It will also require innovation, both in relation to addressing technological needs, new forms of operation, cooperation, and finance.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a shared blueprint for prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are an urgent call for action in a global partnership. 

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Gyorgyi Gurban,;
Ms. Marija Vranic,