Gov’ts must be brave in pushing decarbonization in shipping – IMO SG 


Governments in the 175-member states of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have been charged to show courage in the fight to reduce carbon emissions in the shipping industry.

Countries and their political leaders must be brave in their support for the maritime decarbonization agenda if the destructive effects of carbon emissions from the industry are to be curbed; it is said that every year, container ships emit about a billion metric tonnes of carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere, constituting about 3percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and leading to climate change.

The Secretary General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, said these at the 2023 Singapore Maritime Week event themed ‘Ambition Meets Action’ in Singapore.

He was delivering the keynote address on Sustainability Efforts. Shipping communities across the world, the Secretary General pointed out, were taking bold and giant steps towards decarbonization despite the costs to them. And governments must play their role, too, he emphasized.

Developing countries also received praise from Mr. Kitack Lim for their determination to address climate change concerns. Recognizing that they are disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change, developing countries, he said, were aggressively pushing the transition to cleaner energies in the shipping industry in particular.

Earlier this year, the IMO Secretary General was in Ghana to address a Green Shipping conference organized by the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), the IMO and the Danish Maritime Authority.

In recognition of Ghana’s leading role in promoting the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner and renewable energies, the Director General of the GMA, Thomas K. Alonsi, was invited by Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) to participate in the 17th Advanced Maritime Leaders Program as well as the 2023 Singapore Maritime Week.

Mr. Alonsi has been involved in some of the key discussions at the SMW2023which organisers say brought “together the global maritime community to take collective and accelerated action to digitalise and decarbonize the maritime sector.”

Director, Maritime Services at GMA, Nana Kwabena Boakye-Boampong said Africa needed to join the deliberations as that was the only way to have their concerns captured and also solicit for assistance to beef up maritime infrastructure and investment for the new opportunities to be presented by maritime decarbonization in view of the technical and economic basket of measures being negotiated at the IMO.

“The next 2 months leading to Marine Environment Protection Committee meetings (MEPC 80) is crucial as the IMO needs to build consensus among States Parties to adopt a revised ambitious GHG strategy aligned to the 1.5⁰C target set for Shipping to play its role in saving the planet,” he emphasized.

A 2050 target has been set for net-zero emissions in the shipping industry and efforts are being made to ensure that no country is left behind.

A giant in the sector with about 1,000 vessels at its seaport at any given time, Singapore is praised for leading the way in the search for a road to faster and more sustainable transition to greener fuels. Ghana has also been acknowledged as a leader in the conversations and actions to get Africa getting on track to meet these global targets.

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