Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Global Ship Owners Meet to Talk Vaccinations and Covid Crew Changes, Digitalisation and GHGs

Call for Government Cash to Lead the Fight to Zero 2050
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – As we explained in an article in May, whilst the G7 meeting took place in Cornwall an equivalent group from the nations involved, all of whom represented their country's shipping interests and known as the M7 group, met simultaneously via Microsoft Teams to discuss current industry affairs.

The meeting was chaired by Mr John Denholm, President of the UK Chamber of Shipping, representing the Host Nation with delegates from the ship owning associations of the G7, plus those from Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea, joined by the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Chief Executive and Secretary General of BIMCO and a representative from the European Community of Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA).

There was universal agreement that more investment is needed from governments and industry to develop the technologies for a cleaner and greener shipping industry and that the G7 governments should be urged to back the shipping industry’s proposed $5 billion R&D decarbonisation fund. Delegates also agreed that more work was needed to help develop digital documentation to facilitate an increase in global trade as the world recovers from Covid-19.

Unsurprisingly the crew change crisis was discussed, and the extraordinary work seafarers have done over the past 15 months supporting global trade under extremely challenging conditions was noted. The meeting called for governments of the G7 to follow the lead of the United States, Canada and other countries in prioritising vaccinations for seafarers. John Denholm commented:

“Meeting for the first time, the M7 brought together the [global] ship owning organisations and the meeting discussed improving trade through digital documentation and the need for governments and industry to invest more in green research and development projects and the important role that seafarers were playing in keeping trade flowing through the Covid pandemic.

“The meeting noted the magnificent job that their seafarers had been doing through the pandemic and urged governments to make vaccines available to seafarers. It also fully supported the need to decarbonise and agreed that if the industry is to meet its goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, large-scale investment in research and development is necessary as without this we simply will not have the technologies needed for the greener, cleaner shipping industry that we all want.”