Leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, and oil companies have signed up to a new Global Industry Alliance (GIA), officially inaugurated on June 29, aiming to support transitioning shipping and its related industries towards a low carbon future, IMO announced.
Thirteen companies have signed up to launch the GIA, under the auspices of the GloMEEP Project, a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-IMO project aimed at supporting developing countries in the implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping.
In his GIA launch speech, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the new alliance would help shipping to make its contribution towards greenhouse gas reduction and the mitigation of climate change, a key target for the United Nations under its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“What we are witnessing today is the formal start of a tried and tested partnership concept which has the potential to boost still further our efforts to kick-start the change that society demands and create a firm, tangible basis to transform the shipping sector for the better,” Mr Lim said.
Together, the GIA partners will collectively identify and develop innovative solutions to address common barriers to the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency technologies and operational measures. Focusing on a number of priority areas, including energy efficiency technologies and operational best practices, alternative fuels, and digitalization, activities likely to be undertaken or promoted by the Alliance will include, inter alia:
- research and development;
- showcasing of advances in technology development and positive initiatives by the maritime sector;
- industry fora to encourage a global industry dialogue;
- the implementation of capacity building and information exchange activities.
The GIA was officially inaugurated at a launch ceremony held at the headquarters of the IMO, the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for safety and security of shipping and the prevention of pollution from ships. The launch was held at the margins of the first meeting of the IMO Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships.
“Under this new public-private partnership initiative, these ‘industry champions’, which come from different sectors of the industry and may have different business strategies within the same sector, are coming together to contribute to tackling the challenges of decarbonizing the shipping sector.”
Following the announcement by the GloMEEP Project of its intention to establish the GIA, thirteen companies have agreed to become the founding members of the GIA, although it is expected that more companies may join the GIA even after the launch. The thirteen members that have formally committed to joining the alliance are:
- ABB Engineering (Shanghai)
- DNV GL
- Lloyd’s Register EMEA
- MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company
- Ricardo UK
- Royal Caribbean Cruises
- Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited
- Silverstream Technologies
- Stena AB
- Total Marine Fuels
- Wärtsilä Corporation
- Winterthur Gas & Diesel
As IMO noted, these companies are supporting the overall goals of the GIA by providing their expertise and know-how in the area of maritime fuel efficiency, as well as contributing financially towards the GIA Fund from which GIA activities will be funded.
Following the official GIA launch, the first GIA Task Force meeting was convened to discuss work modalities and kick-off the GIA work.