SHIPPING industry representatives at COP28 set a course to deliver on the International Maritime Organization’s net zero strategy.

More than 60 organisations and 300 leaders met at the Shaping the Future of Shipping summit to discuss ways to meet net zero targets by or around 2050.

The summit built on discussions throughout COP28 around advancing infrastructure, fuel availability and financing.

International Chamber of Shipping chairman Emanuele Grimaldi opened the summit.

“Decarbonisation is bigger than any one industry or government but what is clear is that to be successful in meeting our climate targets the world will need shipping,” he said.

“We know that there are always announcements and noise here at COP meetings, but beyond the razmataz there are detailed negotiations and talks. This is what today was about.”

IMO secretary general elect Arsenio Dominguez said the IMO strategy was “a great achievement” but noted the outcomes had yet to become a reality.  

“But it is what comes next, what are we going to start doing to make that a reality?” he asked.

“We are already carrying out the impact assessment on the fleet and on states in order to provide the necessary information for the marine environment protection committee meetings that will take place next year and that will lead us to those measures that will be adopted by 2025, implemented in 2027 and that will make these objectives of the strategy a reality, both technical and economic measures.”

ICS said the summit was structured to ensure that delegates had an opportunity to provide their insights and experiences, to better understand the challenges and to identify how to address the climate crisis.

The summit was part of the COP28 presidency programme and hosted under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

Hessa Al Malek, advisor to the minister for maritime transport affairs, the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, said the IMO 2023 strategy was a testament to a shared ambition for a greener maritime future.

“This strategy is not just a document; it reflects our collective resolve to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and guide industry towards a more environmentally path.

“While the IMO 2023 GHG strategy sets a high bar, the time has come to translate this aspiration into a concrete action. Aspiring to change is no longer enough.”

The summit event was organised by a coalition of leading maritime industry bodies and co-ordinated by the ICS in partnership with the Emirates Shipping Association.

COP28 began on 30 November and is wrapping up on 12 December 2023.