Govts must be brave in pushing decarbonisation in shipping

The governments of 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.

“The countries and their political leaders must be brave in their sup­port for the maritime decarboni­sation agenda if the destructive effects of carbon emissions from the industry are to be curbed,” the Secretary General of the IMO, Mr Kitack Lim, said these when he delivered the keynote address on sustainability efforts, at the 2023 Singapore Maritime Week event themed “Ambition Meets Action” in Singapore.

It is said that every year, contain­er ships emit about a billion metric tonnes of carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere, constituting about three per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change.

Shipping communities across the world, the Secretary General pointed out, were taking bold and giant steps towards decarbonisa­tion despite the costs to them.

He urged governments to play their role and praised developing countries for their determination to address climate change concerns.

Recognizing that they were 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 organised 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, Mr Thomas K. Alonsi, was invited by Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) to participate in the 17th Advanced Maritime Lead­ers Programme 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 decarbonise the maritime sector”.

The 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 decarboni­sation in view of the technical and economic basket of measures being negotiated at the IMO.

“The next two 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.

The IMO has set 2050 target 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 a 1,000 vessels at its sea port 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 discussion and actions to get Africa on track to meet the global targets.

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