Conference on green shipping opens in Accra.
A two-day international conference to promote green shipping in Africa has taken place in Accra. Organised by the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Danish Maritime Organization, the conference, the first to be held in Africa, was on the theme “Unlocking Opportunities for Green Shipping in Africa”.
Green shipping refers to efficient and environmentally friendly shipping practices that reduce the use of resources and energy to preserve the global environment from Green House Gas and environmental pollutants. However, green transition is one of the greatest challenges that the shipping sector has ever faced, according to the IMO. Key drivers of change include an ambitious and global regulatory framework, energy efficiency measures, development of new technologies, investments in renewable energy and infrastructure and new ways of working together especially between the public-private sector.
The goal of the green shipping conference was to explore not only the challenges, but also the opportunities for African countries that lie within this green transition. It aimed at preparing Africa for the crucial transition to cleaner fuels for shipping and to explore the availability of Partnerships and the importance of Africa's participation in Global Regulations.
Participants included Director-Generals and Technical Experts from selected Maritime Administrations across Africa.
Opening the conference, the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah said, the shipping industry emits 2-3 per cent of the annual global GHG, with most ships in operation currently being powered by fossil fuels. According to him, it is necessary to apply regulatory measures to facilitate shipping transitions and reduce emissions, and to encourage the production of alternative low-and zero-carbon fuels for shipping. He further emphasized the need for Ghana and Africa to explore the green shipping industry.
The IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim stressed on the importance of partnership and funding in the shipping industry. “There is a strong willingness and commitment to work with all stakeholders to explore and make a push towards renewable energy, to ensure that maritime transport benefits from the relevant investment and technology transfer” he stated, adding that IMO would show global leadership towards efforts to decarbonise shipping by leading by example and providing a global framework for the maritime industry to strive for green shipping with the involvement of all member states.