A major international project to support the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s initial strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping has been launched.
Entitled GreenVoyage-2050, the project will initiate and promote global efforts to demonstrate and test technical solutions for reducing such emissions, as well as enhancing knowledge and information sharing to support the IMO GHG reduction strategy.
GreenVoyage-2050 is a collaboration between IMO and the Government of Norway and will run for an initial two-year period. More than 50 countries in 14 sub-regions across the globe are expected to participate, including developed countries and strategic partners from the private sector, who will contribute expertise and experience.
The project will also build capacity in developing countries, including small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs), to fulfil their commitments to meet climate-change and energy-efficiency goals for international shipping.
Initially, eight countries, from five high-priority regions (Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Latin America and Pacific), are expected to take pilot roles, to pursue and undertake actions at the national level. These pilot countries will then become “champions”, galvanising momentum by supporting other partnering countries in their respective regions to follow a similar path.
Speaking at the official launch of GreenVoyage-2050 (Monday 13 May), IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the project was a direct response to the need to provide technical assistance to States and to support technology transfer and promote green technology uptake to improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions throughout the maritime sector. Mr. Lim thanked the Government of Norway for its generous financial support for GreenVoyage-2050 – NOK 10,000,000 (US$1.1 million) for the initial two years of the project – and for the intention to fund the project beyond the two years.
Mr Lim also drew particular attention to the importance of private-sector participation in the project. “I am particularly encouraged by the fact that the GreenVoyage-2050 project is designed with a private-sector partnership component,” he said. “This will accelerate the uptake of technology solutions by the industry”.
GreenVoyage-2050 will eventually be scaled-up vertically (more technology demonstration and infrastructure efforts) and horizontally (more pilot countries joining the project) through mobilising additional resources. The objective is to accelerate implementation of the initial IMO GHG strategy.
Partnerships with existing programmes (such as Norway’s Green Shipping Programme) will be explored, with a view to drawing on their results to encourage the phasing in of zero and low-emission solutions for shipping in developing countries.
Welcoming the collaborative nature of the project, Mr Lim said, “Another of this project’s most important aims is to spur global efforts to enhance global knowledge management and information sharing for climate action and sustainable oceans. In this time of greater connectivity and more rapid technological advances than ever before, I cannot stress enough how timely the launch of this project is”.
The project will support delivery at least two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 13 on climate change and SDG 14 on sustainable use of the oceans.
Mr Sveinung Oftedal, Specialist Director of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, said, “Norway is very pleased to enter into this new partnership with IMO at a time when the global maritime community is discussing ways and means of supporting the implementation of the IMO initial GHG strategy. By addressing one of the highest priority environmental issues faced by maritime transport sector and by catalysing development of technological solutions, GreenVioyage-2050 can substantially contribute to the UN sustainable development goals and the objectives of blue economic growth in developing regions”.
IMO has a strong record in taking on and delivering global and regional projects such as this. GreenVoyage-2050 will embrace good practices learnt from other successful environmental projects delivered by IMO. In particular, it will build on the momentum gained from two current projects: GloMEEP, the GEF-UNDP-IMO Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project, which has itself established a successful public-private partnership, namely the Global Industry Alliance To Support Low Carbon Shipping, and the European Union-funded GMN project, which has established five Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific.
The project was launched and the project agreement between IMO and Norway signed on the first day of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), 74th session (13-17 May). Among other agenda items, MEPC 74 will continue its work on reducing GHG emissions from ships, in line with the initial GHG strategy.