Global Industry Alliance launched to support low carbon shipping

Launch of the Global Industry Alliance to Support

Low-Carbon Shipping, 29 June 2017

Speech by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General

International Maritime Organization

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you this morning to what I believe is a landmark event – not just in terms of IMO’s work but also, more significantly, in the journey of shipping and its related industries towards a low-carbon future.

It is particularly fitting that this launch of the Global Industry Alliance to support low-carbon shipping is taking place in the margins of the first meeting of the IMO Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships.

What we are witnessing today is the formal start of a tried and tested partnership concept which has the potential to boost still further our efforts to kick-start the change that society demands and create a firm, tangible basis to transform the shipping sector for the better.

This industry alliance concept proved very successful during the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Project, under which industry partners worked with UN agencies and other stakeholders to seek common solutions towards a single goal.

So I am pleased to see the launch of the Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping that brings together a group of world-leading private companies. Under this new public-private partnership initiative, these “industry champions”, which come from different sectors of the industry and may have different business strategies within the same sector, are coming together to contribute to tackling the challenges of decarbonizing the shipping sector.

IMO is providing the mechanism for them to do this through the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project, or, in short, the GloMEEP Project, which was launched in 2015 in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme.

Under the GloMEEP, 10 developing countries have committed to taking a lead role in creating the national policies, strategies and the legal framework to effectively implement IMO’s energy efficiency regulations.

So far more than 400 people have been trained in national, regional and global workshops, and information tools and training packages have been developed to further support developing countries in the implementation of IMO’s energy efficiency provisions.

Within the project, 10 developing countries have already committed to taking a lead role in creating the national policies, strategies and legal framework to effectively implement IMO’s energy efficiency regulations. It is expected that these examples and lessons learned will assist several other countries to follow suit.

However, there is a list of identified barriers standing in the way of developing significant and long-lasting improvements to energy efficiency in the shipping sector. Some of them are technical, some are financial, some are institutional and some relate to the human element. It is relatively easy to identify these hurdles. But solving them requires innovation, blue-sky thinking, and working together through a collaborative and common approach.

So partnerships like the GIA can help tackle some of those barriers faced by the industry, in practical and concrete ways. We envisage that some real stepping stones will be provided for shipping on its journey towards a low-carbon future. Some possible areas for collaboration that could deliver practical answers to overcome some of these barriers include:

  • energy efficiency technologies and best practices;
  • alternative fuels and energy carriers;
  • digital transformation;
  • finance and the human element – to name a few.

I understand that the GIA members will set-up a task force to propose and select activities within some of these broad areas.

I am pleased to announce that thirteen founding companies are represented here today, to establish this new Alliance. We have shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and machinery manufacturers, technology and big data providers and major oil companies. All of these companies are committing both financial and human resources to the Alliance. To me, this shows their real commitment to the goals of the GIA, and I commend them for it.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As many of you in this room will know, IMO has taken a two-pronged approach towards supporting shipping to a green future. Firstly, regulatory – by adopting mandatory technical and operational energy-efficiency measures for ships.

And secondly, by focusing on the implementation, through capacity-building and technical cooperation projects that can support technology transfer and uptake by the industry.

The GIA we are launching today falls into the second category. Its founding members have already responded to the regulations adopted by IMO, by designing, building and operating ships which meet the new requirements for energy efficiency, or by delivering product solutions.

I believe that this is a milestone development that the whole maritime industry – jointly, private and public sectors together – is moving; with an aim to tackle the climate change challenge, bearing in mind the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It is my sincere hope that the GIA, which we are launching today, will act as a strong catalyst for this to happen.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.