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Event programme

Opening and welcome statements

Opening Keynotes

Panel – Shipping’s 4th Propulsion Revolution – The Commitment and the Challenge

Over the past 100 years of shipping, we have seen vessels powered by sail, vessels powered by coal and vessels powered by oil and gas. Now, in response to the climate crisis, industry has committed to decarbonise by using more efficient technologies, using lower emission fuels and, ultimately, moving to new zero-carbon fuel sources created from renewable energy. Increasing the speed and scale of the transition will be vital, and this session will look at what is already being done to bring into service zero and lower carbon ships and what is needed to increase the pace of this deployment:

• What can be done today to deploy zero and lower carbon ships?

• What technologies will be available in the coming years to provide the step change needed?

• What is needed to scale up the transition to zero-emission ships?

• What is needed from policy makers to accelerate decarbonisation?

• What are the biggest roadblocks that need to be overcome?


Shaping the Policy, Technology, and Frameworks for Shipping’s Future

Shipping has an advantage over many sectors in that it has a global regulator. In addition to the vital role of the International Maritime Organization, there are many additional levers that can be applied to accelerate and scale the decarbonisation of the maritime sector. This session will identify the policies, technologies and frameworks that will be required to increase the speed and scale of transition. We will consider the actions needed to reduce political and investment risk to catalyse a rapid transformation to a zero-carbon future for shipping:

  • What can industry do to prepare and move towards a zero-carbon future?
  • What can governments do to catalyse the transition to a zero-emissions future?
  • What market signals are required to deliver an equitable transition and how to you manage the trade-offs inherent in transformation?
  • How best to encourage and develop a climate of innovation?


Shaping the Infrastructure Required to Deliver an Equitable Transition

Shipping currently uses approximately 4% of the worlds liquid fuels to transport 90% of the world’s goods. This includes transporting most of the fuels needed to power the worlds transport system, industry and to provide heat. Shipping is therefore intrinsically linked to the global energy transformation but is too often forgotten when it comes to planning the massive infrastructure investments that will be required to decarbonise the global fossil fuels market. Shipping also needs to be assured that fuels will be available across the world and not just on certain routes in developed economies. To ensure that the energy transition is equitable for all, this session will look at the transformation in thinking required to ensure that infrastructure does not block the transition to a zero-carbon future.

  • How can shipping ensure security of supply in a high-demand market for zero-carbon fuels?
  • What impact will competition with other sectors have on the price and availability of future fuels?
  • How do we ensure that there is sufficient investment in infrastructure, in all regions of the world, to ensure that shipping can decarbonise in line with the Paris goals?
  • What is needed to ensure that all countries can benefit from the transition to a zero-emissions future?


Shaping the Financing Outlook Required to Catalyse Shipping’s Future

In the context of high political risk and investment uncertainty, what is needed to build a sustainable business model for a decarbonised shipping sector? According to the International Energy Agency, the total amount of Corporate R&D investment for maritime decreased from 2.7 billion USD in 2017 to 1.6 billion USD in 2019 prior to the pandemic. This session will look at what is needed to reverse this trend and guarantee that sufficient finance is available to deploy the necessary infrastructure and ships at the scale needed to meet the Paris goals. We will also look at the opportunities for the shipping industry with will be required to transport the new fuels for the global energy transition:

  • What can be done to de-risk the decarbonisation of shipping and ensure an investment pipeline for infrastructure and shipping is available at the scale required?
  • How can we ensure that finance is available at rates that will catalyse investment in zero-emission technologies?
  • How do we ensure that all have access to finance so that we do not create a two-tier market?
  • How to avoid stranded assets?


Ensuring a Just Transition for Shipping’s Future

In the discussion of technology, policy, infrastructure and investment we must not forget that none of this will happen if we do not have the people with the skills needed to handle these new, more volatile fuels. We also need to ensure that any transition in shipping does not disenfranchise developing economies. With the right approach this transition can be a benefit for all economies and will advance a sustainable economy for all. This discussion will look at the positive examples of what works and identify what needs to be done so that the transition to a zero-carbon future can happen at the speed and scale required to meet the Paris goals:

  • What needs to be done to ensure that people on land and on sea have the skills they need at the pace required to enable the zero-carbon future?
  • How do we ensure that all communities benefit from the transition to a zero-carbon future?
  • What can shipowners, unions, governments, and industry do to accelerate the training and skills agenda to ensure that shipping can deliver a decarbonised sector?


  • Sturla Henriksen, Special Advisor, Ocean, UN Global Compact – Moderator
  • Stephen Cotton, General Secretary, ITF, United Kingdom
  • Katrin Harvey, Chief Operating Officer, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Austria
  • Guy Platten, Secretary General, ICS, United Kingdom

Closing ceremony and addresses

  • Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization
  • Esben Poulsson, Chair, International Chamber of Shipping, United Kingdom