Call For Nigeria, 174 Nations To Strengthen Efforts In Achieving IMO 2030

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Nigeria and 174 other member states of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are being strongly encouraged to enhance their national policies, international commitments, and technological advancements to meet the ambitious target of achieving five percent decarbonation in maritime activities by 2030. This call to action is the central message of the ‘Climate Action in Shipping, Progress towards Shipping’s 2030 Breakthrough’ report, which was recently conducted by UMAS Consultancy and the United Nations (UN) Climate Change High-Level Champions.

The report underscores a concerning reality: the world is currently off track when it comes to reaching the goal of having zero-emission fuels make up five percent of international shipping fuels by 2030. This shortfall poses a significant risk to the industry’s overarching goal of complete decarbonation by 2050.

Furthermore, the report emphasises that the progress in developing zero-emission vessels is slow, with only one-fifth of the required number of ships capable of operating on scalable zero-emission fuel (SZEF) currently on order. As of the end of 2022, there were 24 ships capable of operating on SZEF, and an additional 144 were on order.

Notably, the report echoes concerns expressed by stakeholders regarding the non-implementation of international maritime conventions aimed at preventing pollution from ships, even after 50 years of these conventions being adopted in Nigeria and across Africa.

During the Lagos International Maritime Week (LIMWeek) in 2023, stakeholders stressed the need for comprehensive solutions to address ship pollution and safeguard Africa’s maritime territories. Michel Deelen, the Consul General of the Netherlands in Nigeria, highlighted the detrimental impact of ship pollution on Nigeria’s Blue Economy sector, and called for the establishment of an effective structure, as well as the enforcement of sanctions against foreign vessels that pollute Nigerian waters.

The report’s primary message is a resounding call for action, urging both the industry and governments to take immediate, united steps to boost the supply and demand for scalable zero-emission fuels if the shipping sector is to achieve the IMO’s 2030 goal of having five percent renewable fuels. While the revised emission reduction goals of the IMO are welcomed, the report acknowledges that realising these goals will take time and necessitate support at both the national and industry levels.

Domogoj Baresic, the lead author of the report, highlights a positive shift in efforts towards maritime decarbonation over the past year and emphasises the need for strong commitment to zero-carbon fuels and freight from the industry to expedite their integration into the energy mix. Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, the UN’s Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt, underlines the need for incentives to drive the adoption of zero-emission ships and freight services, particularly focusing on green hydrogen.

The report reinforces the importance of aligning technological innovation, supportive policies, and collaboration across the entire value chain to make progress toward a healthier, more resilient, and zero-carbon world. Jesse Fahnestock, the Project Director at the Global Maritime Forum, stresses that more action is essential, noting that while the industry’s direction of travel is evident with the revision of the IMO’s greenhouse gas strategy, the pace of progress must accelerate.

Katharine Palmer, Shipping Lead at the United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champions, emphasises the role of policymakers in earmarking specific financing for SZEF development and directing it effectively to facilitate the necessary advancements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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