With emissions from shipping sector projected to grow considerably, the United Nations has urged governments and private companies to work together to harness innovative technologies such as digitalization and automation and foster a just transition that includes developing countries and promotes renewable energy and alternative fuels.
Maritime transport represents more than 80 per cent of global trade, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the World Maritime Day.
The Day was celebrated on September 29 with focus on 'How shipping can contribute to a more sustainable future for all.'
"This year’s theme - New technologies for greener shipping – promotes innovation and solutions that support a transition in the sector," remarked Guterres.
Meanwhile, the crisis in Ukraine –and the Black Sea Grain Initiative – have highlighted the vital role shipping plays in feeding the world.
As shipping continues to connect humanity, it must play an essential part in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and building a fair and prosperous future for people and planet," stated Guterres.
The UN chief stressed that the maritime sector "must accelerate its voyage to decarbonization." Emissions from shipping are projected to grow considerably unless there is concerted global action, he warned.
Guterres pointed out that the vessels to be deployed in this decade will determine whether the shipping sector achieves net zero emissions by 2050.
"Smarter and greener zero emission ships must become the default choice and commercially available for all by 2030," he added
The celebrations on World Maritime Day provide a platform to showcase inclusive maritime innovation, research and development, and the demonstration and deployment of new technologies.
This year’s theme opens up a larger conversation about where shipping is headed, and how digitalization and automation can support the sector, said Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
"But technological solutions for cleaner, safer and more sustainable shipping must also benefit people," he stated. "In this regard, the impact on seafarers and other marine personnel, including the need for training, must be considered," he added.
According to UN, the growing impacts of climate change and more extreme weather are making marine meteorological services more critical than ever before.
This has been underlined yet again by a recent succession of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and Northwest Pacific, which have led to hazardous shipping conditions. Forecasts and warnings are essential to protect vessels, their cargo and sailors," it said.
WMO is committed to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, known as the SOLAS convention, through the broadcast of meteorological maritime safety information as part of the IMO Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
The SOLAS convention is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships. It was first adopted in 1914, in response to the Titanic disaster.
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