Shipping industry holds own summit at COP 23 climate meeting
The 23rd session of the UN’s Climate Change Conference, ‘COP 23’, took place in Bonn, Germany from November 6th – 17th. Under the aegis of the main conference, the ‘Ambition 1.5°C: Global Shipping’s Action Plan’ summit took place on November 13th.
Initiated by Gavin Allwright, Secretary of the International Windship Association (IWSA), and co-organised and sponsored by MAN Diesel & Turbo, the summit’s aim was to debate a shipping-industry-led agenda – with the participation of invited, influential industry-representatives and UNFCCC delegates – to exploit the opportunities presented by decarbonisation and create an action plan for the shipping industry.
Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Diesel & Turbo, commented on events in Bonn and said: “The hopes and demands of the shipping industry for a strengthened mandate of the IMO were not fulfilled in Paris; Bonn offers us a new opportunity to accelerate what MAN Diesel & Turbo calls the ‘Maritime Energy Transition’, the move to cleaner technology within our industry. Ultimately, uniform environmental standards must be established at international level – a strong IMO as an international regulator is therefore essential.” Dr Gunnar Stiesch – Senior Vice President, MAN Diesel & Turbo and Head of Engineering Engines – was a panellist and held a presentation at Ambition 1.5°C that hosted a workshop on such topics as the future technology, new business models and regulatory frameworks that will enable the shipping industry to reach global climate goals. Stiesch said: “MAN Diesel & Turbo wants to expand the debate on how to reach COP 21’s targets. We want to engage with all stakeholders – whether the general public, NGOs, shipowners or classification societies – to see what solutions are already in place or required. Consequently, I am heartened by what I have heard today in Bonn where we have made significant progress, and am confident that our efforts here will ultimately bear fruit.”
Stemming from the summit’s proceedings, a briefing document will be delivered to UNFCCC delegates, providing a summary of the main challenges and opportunities offered by the decarbonisation of the shipping industry, the ambitious approaches agreed, and a copy of a draft action plan.
The term ‘Maritime Energy Transition’ stems from the German expression ‘Energiewende’ and encapsulates MAN Diesel & Turbo’s call to action to reduce emissions and establish natural gas as the fuel of choice in global shipping. It promotes a global ‘turn to gas’, driven by the IMO, and a common approach by the shipping industry and politics to invest in infrastructure development and retrofits. Launched in 2016 after COP 21, according to MAN Diesel & Turbo, the initiative has since found broad support within both the shipping industry and German politics.
By Jake Frith
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