Cooperation needed to tackle sustainability

Guangzhou Port Guangzhou Port. Credit IAPH

The IMO Secretary General has stressed the importance of the combined role of shipping and ports in both world trade and sustainable development.

Speaking at the IAPH Guangzhou 2019 World Ports Conference, Kitack Lim said: "Transport is a chain. No link in a chain can be really be effective if viewed in isolation. Actions impacting ships will have an impact throughout the entire supply chain, especially on ports.”

Talking about the value of partnerships in tacking the SDGs, he highlighted the work the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has undertaken with member IMO states and NGOs to address specific UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“SDG9 for example is all about building resilient infrastructure. Nothing could be more important in this context than an effective ship-port interface."

Climate action

He specifically commended IAPH's collaborative work on SDG 13 which addresses climate action. This included IAPH's work with Canada on a joint resolution encouraging voluntary cooperation between ports and shipping to reduce vessel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. He also acknowledged IAPH's support to co-develop port emissions toolkits on the IMO-based GloMEEP (Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships) Project.

The Secretary General pointed out that ships use around 15% of their total fuel whilst in port or in a harbour. "Ports will be vital to provide infrastructure to supply alternative fuels to power shipping if we are to meet the ambitious GHG emissions targets" he commented.

IAPH's initial work with the Canadian government on a joint IMO resolution that invites Member States to encourage voluntary collaboration between ports and shipping to facilitate the reduction of GHG emissions from vessels in ports and harbours has resulted in a detailed submission to the IMO.

It is due to be tabled at the next meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in May.

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