Five regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) have been created under the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (GMN) Project, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with a remit to develop and adopt standards for safer, greener and more sustainable shipping.

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Between them, the MTCCs count 97 participating countries and have been working with 1,179 participating vessels to deliver sets of data which can help inform and support energy efficiency improvement. Port energy audits and retrofitting of domestic ships for better energy efficiency are just two ways in which results are already being seen.

During the third annual GMN conference, representatives from the five MTCCs reported on their pilot projects which assess various measures to help reduce emissions in the maritime sector. These range from data collection, according to IMO MARPOL requirements, to analyze the impact of local improvements in ports, to reducing emissions in port areas.

"There is no silver bullet to decarbonise shipping - a basket of measures is needed ranging from framework conditions, standards and innovation to funding and economic incentives."

mentioned Ms. Petra Doubkova, Policy Officer of DG MOVE, European Commission.

Each MTCC is involved in hosting and arranging regional and national workshops and seminars, to increase awareness of IMO's energy efficiency measures for ships and to deliver capacity building through training.

Providing he comment, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President, stated that:

"Climate change is a global challenge, and it is only if we work together and share our knowledge and technologies on energy efficiency and renewable energy production, that we can be successful in mitigating climate change."

Regional projects

MTCC-Caribbean has been coordinating regional efforts in two pilot projects: one to create a maritime energy efficiency baseline and cost/benefit analysis for different energy efficiency technologies and the other a system for collecting fuel consumption data throughout the Caribbean.

MTCC Asia has been developing a software tool to help ships' crews record fuel consumption and is working on ways of improving the angle at which ships float in the water (trim), to improve their performance. It has also been performing ship fuel oil consumption data collecting and reporting. Fifteen demonstration ships have, until now, provided 68,517 sets of data regarding ship fuel consumption and ship optimum trim.

MTCC Latin America has conducted several workshops, throughout the region, to assist maritime authorities and other stakeholders meet their obligations under IMO's international regulations on energy efficiency. Its pilot projects have focused on assessing the barriers and constraints faced by regional ship owners and operators when implementing the IMO regulations and on collection of fuel consumption data.

MTCC Africa has also been collecting fuel consumption data and has developed standardized e-forms for data collection equipment, enabling ships' crews to input key parameters, such as fuel type, fuel consumed, engine rating and so on, and then upload this via satellite to a web-based platform. By the end of 2018, over 1000 data sets had been collected. A demonstration pilot project on port energy audits is also being implemented.

MTCC Pacific has been focusing on uptake of ship energy efficient technologies and operations and on fuel oil consumption data collection and reporting.

The GMN project is now continuing, through the MTCCs, to work with local stakeholders and push forward with raising awareness of energy efficiency in the maritime sector. The MTCCS are perfectly poised to continue to implement measures locally and regionally, in order to meet the challenges which action on climate change demands, according to the Paris Agreement.