“New technologies for greener shipping” has been chosen as the World Maritime Theme for 2022, reflecting the need to support a green transition of the maritime sector into a sustainable future, while leaving no one behind, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said.
Proposed by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, the theme was endorsed during a recent IMO Council meeting.
According to Lim, the theme would provide an opportunity to focus on the importance of a sustainable maritime sector and the need to build back better and greener in a post-pandemic world.
“IMO actively supports a greener transition of the shipping sector into a sustainable future, and showcases maritime innovation, research and development, and the demonstration and deployment of new technologies,” Lim said.
“In order to achieve these objectives, partnerships are key, as they allow all parties involved to share and distribute information on best practices and to access resources and general know-how in support of the transition of the maritime sector into a greener and more sustainable future,” Lim said.
Specifically, the theme will allow for a range of activities to delve into specific topics related to the promotion of inclusive innovation and uptake of new technologies to support the needs for a greener transition of the maritime sector, especially in the context of developing countries, and in particular, the small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs).
The theme is linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDGs 13 and 14 on climate action and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources; SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure; and SDG 17, which highlights the importance of partnerships and implementation to achieve these goals.
Decarbonization, marine plastic litter and biofouling are among the topic areas already being addressed by the major projects of IMO, including GMN, GloFouling Partnerships, GreenVoyage2050 and GloLitter Partnerships. All of these projects aim to support and promote innovation and green technologies.
It remains to be seen whether these IMO-led initiatives will help accelerate the sector’s decarbonization given that the previous IMO measures and actions have been described as “too slow” and “weak” by the rest of the industry.
Last month, the UN maritime agency adopted efficiency measures to reduce carbon intensity from ships, targeting a 1.5% annual ship CO2 intensity cut between 2023-2026. The measures are expected to result in an estimated 11% improvement by 2026 compared to 2019 levels and will take the form of a mix of technical and operational approaches.
World Maritime Theme 2021
The announcement comes ahead of this year’s World Maritime Day that will be celebrated on 30 September 2021, aiming to raise awareness of seafarersʹ vital role in world trade and increase their visibility.
The 2021 theme — “Seafarers: at the core of shippingʹs future” –highlights the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed extraordinary and unprecedented demands on seafarers, with hundreds of thousands of them having been faced with a crew change crisis.