According to Lloyd’s Register (LR), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set stricter targets for shipping’s GHG emissions reaching net-zero by or close to 2050, committed to ensuring the uptake of zero-carbon fuels by 2030, and signalled its support for a just and equitable transition as part of the IMO’s Revised GHG strategy.
he report “Routes-based action plan: a toolkit” presents a routes-based action plan methodology that is designed to kickstart the uptake of clean maritime fuels, and supports the inclusion of developing countries, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The methodology was developed following a workshop facilitated by the Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub and organised by the IMO, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Climate and Environment of Norway in October 2023 with stakeholders across Asia, to raise awareness on actions to reduce GHG emissions from ships and foster cooperation along shipping routes to aggregate demand and support energy transition.
Driving success with routes-based action plans across Asia Pacific
In order to drive success with routes-based action plans across the wider Asia Pacific region, several factors are considered of critical importance.
- Coordination and collaboration among stakeholders is key to the consensusbuilding and full supply chain engagement aspects of the routes-based action plans methodology, particularly when it comes to co-developing the Implementation Plan presenting actions and milestones for each stakeholder. It is also important that key decision makers, such as vessel owners and operators, fuel suppliers and investors in these projects are involved as early as the Inception and Definitions & Scope stage so that there is sufficient support from the outset. Ports can also play a further convening role to facilitate these collaborative environments.
- Capacity building and specialised support will be a major requirement to execute the data-driven aspects of the routes-based action plan methodology as part of completing the Assessment and Business Case development steps of the process. Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region need support in developing the technical expertise and institutional capacity to implement routes-based action plans. This support may come from other regional first movers or maritime experts driving this forward. Feasibility assessments and preparatory work will require funding and support to execute particularly where resources are limited.
- Increased access to the investment community is needed to build a credible Business Case, which is the final stage of the process. Projects partners need a clear understanding of what investors are looking for to construct robust proposals and understand the tools and mechanisms available to bridge the cost gap of these projects. These relationships can be developed by regional workshops and roundtables that increase engagements with the shipping, fuel supply and finance communities.
Recommended actions to drive creation of regional hubs
- Regional governments need to work together to support a strategy focused on creating a regional hub, and this will include understanding the demands from the different countries across the region, which will be key to building investment cases for energy infrastructure for the region at scale.
- Public-private partnerships can be effective in mobilising resources and expertise needed to establish regional clusters and implement routes-based action plans. Bringing the industry and governments together will be key during the integral risk sharing discussions to unlock investments in these projects.
- Governments and fuel suppliers need to assess prospective energy producing locations in the Asia Pacific region, that are inclusive of new energy producing ports and locations in the region and have potential to bring wider economic and social benefits to local communities that can include LDCs, SIDS and developing countries.
- Development Banks and regional funds need to prioritise working with prospective regional energy producing locations and regional hubs and lead on efforts to tailor those financing mechanisms that can help unlock investments at scale and increase access to financing routes-based action plans that are inclusive of LDCs and SIDS.