September 29 each year is celebrated globally as World Maritime Day. The day is set aside to focus attention on the importance of maritime safety, security and the sustainable management of the world’s aquatic environment. These celebrations are geared towards underscoring the important role maritime shipping plays in the world’s economic systems and development.
The day is being observed this year under the theme ‘New technologies for greener shipping’. The Liberia Maritime Authority is therefore marking the occasion with the befitting ceremonies in support the theme, which accentuates the need for the maritime industry to transition to a greener, more sustainable future.
In the current climate crisis and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, LiMA sees this as an opportunity to focus the world’s attention on the importance and urgency of decarbonizing the maritime industry through smart technologies.
Undoubtedly, maritime transport is the backbone of international trade and the global economy. Over 80% of the volume of international trade in goods is carried by sea, and the percentage is even higher for most developing countries. But until recently, this vital industry has made few inroads toward decarbonization.
In 2018, the IMO adopted mandatory measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from maritime shipping. This was done under the IMO’s pollution prevention treaty MARPOL Annex VI, which centers on Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships, and Ship Energy Efficiency Manage Plan (SEEMP).
LiMA believes that today, in the light of new and significantly more powerful technologies, the maritime industry needs to adhere to every directive contained in MARPOL Annex VI, if the world is going to achieve net-zero emission by 2050, as spelled out in the Paris Agreement on the emissions of greenhouse gases.
That is why LiMA welcomes this new theme and the renewed emphasis on ‘New technologies for greener shipping’.
It is our hope that more investments would be made in emerging climate innovations and technologies that would allow for a steep cut in all greenhouse gases emitted by seagoing vessels and drilling rigs and platforms amid the current climate crisis.