Creation of an international working group to advance the development of marine clean energy poles

A summit of over 100 CEOs and government officials has unanimously agreed to establish an international platform for cross-industry collaboration to help decarbonise the shipping industry, in London.

The Shaping the Future of Shipping Summit hosted the largest gathering of industry leaders since COP26 to address the shipping decarbonization agenda. CEOs and leaders agreed to develop a public/private cross-sector platform to advance the development of clean fuels for shipping and global transportation. Different parts of the value chain have valuable information that, when brought together, will help develop pathways and develop best practices to ensure the industry achieves net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Delegates included representatives of energy companies, shipping companies, ports, financial and technology companies. suppliers, as well as development finance institutions and energy ministers.

Participants tackled the critical decarbonization issues facing the shipping and energy sectors and agreed on a concrete roadmap to address them. Convened by the International Chamber of Shipping, the summit outlined several urgent actions that would accelerate the industry’s transition to green fuels and technologies.

Participants agreed to advance a proposed Clean Energy Marine Hubs (CEMH) initiative, to coordinate and join the decarbonization efforts of ports, shipping companies and energy companies. The groundbreaking initiative could be launched as early as September, at the next clean energy ministerial meeting of 29 energy ministers from key governments. The global Hubs platform will develop stronger cross-sector collaborations that connect the energy sector to the maritime value chain, enabling policymakers and industry stakeholders to quickly unlock clean energy deployment.

The urgent need for a market-based measure to help decarbonize shipping via a carbon price on emissions was highlighted in discussions throughout the summit. In 2021, industry groups submitted a proposal to the United Nations regulator, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to advance negotiations around a multi-year global MBM. Now, representatives of the maritime transport value chain have gone into overdrive on the urgent implementation of this measure, considering it essential to achieve the ambitious decarbonization objectives of the industry.

Conference participants also agreed to quickly prioritize R&D for innovative low- and zero-carbon fuels and technologies. In the absence of an IMO-led proposal to advance R&D, industry leaders have committed to unilateral approaches to advancing this initiative and exploring other forms of collaborative coalitions. Shipping is estimated to require all of the world’s renewable energy generation capacity just to supply the amount of green fuels needed to decarbonize shipping by 2050, shipping is also expected to carry more than half of all green fuels marketed worldwide on the same date.

Guy Platten, ICS General Secretary, commented after the summit:
“COP26 made it clear that the main obstacle to the decarbonisation of maritime transport was the conundrum of future fuels. Energy producers will not invest without buyers and shipowners do not know where to invest if they are unsure of their fuel supply. What COP has also shown is that there is too much siled thinking. The solutions are going to be multi-sectoral and we need to have a much stronger collaboration with energy producers and the whole maritime value chain if we want to break the deadlock. This summit has shown that there is real ambition to collaborate and develop practical solutions at an accelerated pace.

“With stakeholders across the fuel production and transportation value chain now working together to remove bottlenecks and reduce the risks of green investments, we can fuel the rapid transition of shipping through a commercial scale-up and large-scale deployment of green fuels.”

Dan Dorner, Head of the Ministerial Clean Energy Secretariat, said:
“We are keenly aware that shipping is at the heart of global trade and energy use, and therefore global net zero goals cannot be achieved without the involvement of this sector in the transition to a clean energy. Cross-sector and government collaboration will be essential to create the necessary infrastructure and technologies we need for a successful energy transition in the decades to come. The Clean Energy Marine Hubs offer promises to bring together all key stakeholders to enable the transformation of marine sectors and we welcome the proposal.

Patrick Verhoeven, Director General of the International Association of Ports and Harbors, said:
“The global port community has a responsibility to provide refueling hubs for shipping and also has a great opportunity to facilitate trade in green fuels. No industry can achieve global decarbonization goals independently; platforms like this that promise to bring us together will be crucial in making these goals a reality.
Source: International Chamber of Shipping