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A word from the ICS Chairman: Rising to the challenge

8 July 2022
Emanuele Grimaldi, ICS Chairman. Credit: ICS

We as an industry stand on the precipice of great technological, societal and global change. Shipping continues to emerge from the storm of COVID-19, as we also weather supply chain instability, geopolitical challenges, and of course, the biggest challenge of all, decarbonisation. We are a resilient and resourceful industry and it is up to us all to confront these challenges head on and enact the practical solutions required to achieve our goals. ICS will be here to lead the way.

This June, I was appointed as new ICS Chairman of the Board as the organisation celebrated its 100th year and I am honoured to continue the great work that has come before me. I will build upon the excellent legacy that my predecessor Esben Poulsson has left and will commit to delivering upon his ongoing goals and the work that must continue as we move ever closer to 2050.

As we move forward, we will forge new, practical paths to help support and guide the maritime industry into this transformative new era. Collaboration and reaching out beyond the borders of our own maritime industry is essential if we are to achieve our collective goals.

This special Centenary issue of Leadership Insights is launched just weeks after ICS held its Shaping the Future of Shipping summit, which brought together leaders from maritime, finance, energy, government and beyond to push forward meaningful change for the decarbonisation of shipping.

We all know that the time for talking is over. We must act now, and we must act decisively, to ensure we have access to the fuels, financing, infrastructure and skills needed to achieve net zero carbon emission goals. Important, practical steps have been taken during the summit that will lead to real-world change and bring us closer on the path towards net zero carbon emissions. Such action is a testament to the drive and resourcefulness of ship-ping and such bold measures must continue if we are to meet our decarbonisation goals.

We however, cannot do this alone. We will continue to work closely with UN bodies and governments to make change happen. If we are to keep pace with with the rapid transformations happening in the world we must not only turn our gaze but our voices outward. Let us tell those outside shipping why our industry matters to them. ICS has and will continue to communicate and demonstrate that shipping will be a great enabler in decarbonising the world, transporting zero-emission fuels globally.

It is our duty to communicate the value shipping has to economic stability and in tackling climate change to world leaders and the general public. Building this understanding will only benefit our industry and give us a voice at the table when important decisions are being made about our future. This is especially important at a time when we face a rapidly fragmented international regulatory regime.

Importantly, we must recognise that no change can be achieved without our workforce. On 25th June we all joined together to celebrate the Day of the Seafarer. It is a day that gives us a chance to honour and value their essential contributions to the maritime industry. However, this goes far beyond one day. ICS has not only helped to push forward a review of the STCW but is working with partners to develop a green curriculum and as a founding partner of the Maritime Just Transition Task Force will ensure that all seafarers are afforded the training, skills and opportunities to enable shipping’s green transformation.

I am incredibly hopeful about the future of our industry and look forward to us all rising to the challenges that lie ahead.