Tuesday, July 4, 2017

New IMO Environmental Alliance to Combat Emissions from the Ocean Shipping Sector

Thirteen Companies from Across the Maritime Industry Sectors Sign Up to Initiative
Shipping News Feature
UK – WORLDWIDE – The headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) were the scene for the launch of a new public-private initiative which aims to support the actions undertaken by the ocean shipping sector and its related industries toward a low-carbon future. The 'Global Industry Alliance' (GIA) is designed to identify and develop innovative solutions to identify and address common barriers to the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency technologies and operational measures.

The IMO is the United Nations specialised agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of pollution from ships, and thirteen companies signed up to support the new scheme at the launch ceremony, which was held during the first meeting of the IMO Inter-sessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships. Container and cruise line operation Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) was in the vanguard of the initiative and represented by Chief Operating Officer Claudio Bozzo, and the concept was warmly supported by Diego Aponte, MSC’s President and CEO, who said:

“I am extremely proud to confirm MSC’s participation in this initiative that we consider extremely important - both for our cargo and passenger divisions. As a leading international company, it is our responsibility to take an active role in the international policy dialogue and further strengthen our collaboration with the IMO and its stakeholders.

“Our Group strategy focuses on the continuous improvement of our environmental performance. We firmly believe that this initiative led by the IMO can make a tangible impact on the long-term sustainability performance of our industry.”

As with many of the other twelve founder members MSC has a pedigree when it comes to environmental improvement policies. In 2016, MSC Cargo reduced its CO2 emissions by 6.6% per cargo-ton-mile. This reduction was achieved through many activities, including a $250 million investment in vessel retrofitting, and earlier this year MSC Cruises announced a multi-billion Euro commitment to develop and build its new ‘World Class’ ships with LNG propulsion. This initiative is expected to produce ships with approximately 20% lower carbon emissions when compared with conventional cruise ships of a similar size.

The GIA has been spawned by the GloMEEP Project, an international cooperation developed between the IMO and the Global Environment Agency (GEF) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) aimed at supporting the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing the resultant greenhouse gas emissions. GloMEEP is being executed by a dedicated Project Coordination Unit (PCU) established within the Marine Environment Division of the IMO.

GloMEEP supports ten Lead Pilot Countries (LPCs)of the project to implement these measures, through legal, policy and institutional reforms, awareness raising and capacity-building activities and the establishment of public-private partnerships to encourage technology transferral. It is the conclusions drawn by the ten LPCs (Argentina, China, Georgia, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Morocco, Panama, Philippines and South Africa) which have produced this latest initiative.

Amongst the ship owners and operators, classification societies, engine and machinery builders and other technology providers who have signed up to the GIA was global ship tracking intelligence company MarineTraffic, and Partner Argyris Stasinakis expressed the attitude of all of the founders when he remarked:

"As a provider of independent, reliable and comprehensive data on vessel movements, MarineTraffic is proud to be playing its part in supporting the shipping industry's drive towards a cleaner and more efficient future. We are passionate believers in the huge changes which transparency and big data can help deliver across the shipping industry."

The founder members of the GIA are ABB Engineering (Shanghai) Ltd., DNV GL SE, MarineTraffic, Lloyd's Register EMEA, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., Ricardo UK Ltd, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited, Silverstream Technologies, Stena AB, Wärtsilä Corporation, Total Marine Fuels Pte Ltd, and Winterthur Gas & Diesel Ltd with more companies expected to take an interest in a programme covering a subject which is in the forefront of maritime affairs.

Photo: The IMO meeting to launch the programme following which the first GIA Task Force meeting was convened to discuss work modalities and begin the opening moves.