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Thursday, October 4, 2018 

A group of 34 CEOs and industry leaders have signed the Global Maritime Forumís call for action on climate change, aimed at leading the maritime industry towards a new decarbonized future.

According to a GMF statement issued today, the Presidents and CEOs of major shipowners, shipmanagers, classification societies, insurers, OEMs, universities and environmental groups that have supported the decarbonisation initiative believe the industry needs to improve operational and technical energy efficiency to accelerate the transition to zero-carbon fuels and new propulsion systems.

The shift to a low-carbon economy by 2050 is the “biggest technology challenge in 100 years”, said GMF but global based regulations must be applied to provide incentive.   

Signatory Claus Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk, said: “Global seaborne trade’s transition to a low-carbon future will propel both technological and business model innovation. The right incentives for accelerated investment into R&D can only come about if we get a global IMO based regulation. We invite stakeholders from the entire maritime spectrum to join us on this new journey.”

To this end, the signatories believe that the maritime industry’s greenhouse gas reductions should be in line with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement, which will require absolute reductions in carbon emissions to accommodate the expected growth in global trade.

Alastair Marsh, CEO of Lloyd’s Register says there is no time to waste. “An ambitious strategy consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals will require zero emission vessels to be entering the fleet in 2030 and form a significant proportion of newbuilds from then on," he said.  "Different solutions have different benefits for different types of ships, it is important that solutions are not only viable from a commercial perspective but are also technically feasible and can be safely adopted and operated.”

The decarbonisation of shipping will require the development of new infrastructure, new fuel supply chains and technology, which Tristan Smith, Reader in Energy and Shipping at University College London, believes is achievable.

“Current evidence is that, if properly aligned with the wider global shift to renewable energy, this should be achievable with negligible long-term impact for many end consumers and global trade. But it will need patience, cooperation and collaboration between many different stakeholders for this to happen,” he said.

The initial greenhouse gas strategy adopted by member states of the UN International Maritime Organization in April 2018 has the full support of the signature CEO’s, all of whom stress that legally binding, enforceable actions set by the IMO must be enforced by member countries and supported by industry.

Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute, said: “It is essential that industry CEOs support that ambitious commitment and follow through with actions that align their organisations with science-based decarbonisation targets.”

This was a view shared by Paddy Rodgers, CEO, Euronav: “Shipping has so far been exempt from regulations to address the issues around GHG emissions from fuels for ships but the IMO has, after consultation laid a pathway, which requires a fundamental change in the way we fuel our ships. Shipping must embrace these targets so let’s take our responsibility to make sure our industry is heading towards a sustainable future for ourselves and the next generations in line with the expectations of our global stakeholders.

The Global Maritime Forum is now working on a set of principles for the inclusion of climate alignment and climate risk considerations in lending decisions. The CEOs recommend that core principles for the transition to a new zero-emission future should:

  • Be in line with the Paris agreement’s temperature goals;
  • Provide long-term certainty for stakeholders to make the required investments in low-carbon technologies;
  • Explore the use of carbon pricing and other mechanisms that can create economic value from GHG emission reductions;
  • Accelerate the use of low-carbon technologies and fuels by encouraging significant funding flows for research and development;
  • Include the development of zero-emission fuels;
  • Build on and reinforce existing technical, operational, and energy efficiency measures;
  • Deliver enforceable actions set by the IMO and Member States that compel the industry to shift.

The 34 companies that have signed up in support of decarbonisation are:  A.P. Moller – Maersk, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Anglo Eastern, Caravel Group, Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, Cargill Ocean Transportation, Danish Ship Finance, Dorian LPG, DS Norden, Environmental Defense Fund, Euronav, Fairmont Shipping Ltd, Gaslog, Hempel, IRISL, KC Maritime HK Ltd., LADOL, Liberian Registry, Lloyd’s Register, Marine Capital Limited, MISC, Maritime Strategies International, Ocean Network Express Pte., Pacific Basin, Precious Shipping, Rocky Mountain Institute, Royal Arctic Line, SKULD, The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), SEACOR Holdings Inc., The Ocean Council, Trafigura, University College London, V.Group.

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