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Press Release

Industry titans and foreign ministers among leading names announced for shipping’s COP26 conference

17 September 2021
Shaping the Future of Shipping at COP26 will be held in Glasgow at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre

London, 17th September: Global shipping bodies have revealed a host of high-profile names who will be attending a cross-industry decarbonisation conference at COP26.

Confirmed attendees of ‘Shaping the Future of Shipping’ include: Sturla Henriksen, special advisor to the UN Global Compact; Bernard Looney, CEO of BP; Juan Carlos Jobet, the Chilean Minister for Energy and Mines; and Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag Lloyd. The conference’s lead sponsor is industry heavyweight the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

The ministerial level, day-long event will feature some of the world’s leading figures from shipping, energy, and finance. They will translate government ambitions set out at COP’s leaders’ summit and identify actions and recommendations for all parties, including IMO member states. Attendees will also discuss ways to accelerate the much-needed R&D for shipping, and a proposed carbon levy.

The event will bring together leaders from the shipping and energy sectors (who are already investing millions in decarbonisation solution), with ministers focusing on an equitable energy transition within shipping. These include Svein Steimler, President and CEO of NYK Group Europe Ltd; Jeremy Nixon, CEO of ONE Group; and Emanuele Grimaldi, managing director of Grimaldi Group.

Ministers from Cyprus, Chile, Greece, Panama and Kenya are confirmed to attend the conference, to be held on the 6th of November. Lord Turner, chair of the Energy Transition Commission, and Daniel Klier, HSBC’s former head of sustainable finance, will attend, alongside leaders from the Green Climate Fund and the UN.

Discussion topics at the conference will include:

  • Sector decarbonisation.
  • R&D, Market based measures and global policy frameworks
  • The reduction of political and financial risk along with ensuring an equitable transition.

The shipping industry, led by the International Chamber of Shipping, has already called on the UN to introduce a mandatory carbon levy on ships over 5000 gross tonnage via a global market-based mechanism. Industry has also backed a $5bn R&D fund to accelerate the deployment of zero-carbon technologies to ensure commercial availability. It is calling on national governments to provide political leadership and a green light for the proposals so that zero emission ships can be in the water by 2030.

‘Shaping the future of Shipping’ will be held on the 6th November at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre, in the midst of COP26. MSC is the lead sponsor of the event, with DNV, BP and Hapag Lloyd among the other sponsors.

Guy Platten, secretary general of ICS commented: “We are bringing together these leaders from across the world so that a green light can be given from governments to unlock investment quickly and get zero carbon ships on the water by 2030.

“Without shipping, the global energy transition will fail. But industry can’t invest based on promises and goals. This means that without political support our energy transition could be put at serious risk. We need actions and tangible agreements that will release much-needed investment in shipping for the next decade and beyond.

“The shipping industry has come forward with a $5billion R&D Fund, which does not require any taxpayer money, a global carbon levy to catalyse the transition to zero emissions technologies, and proposals that will deliver a just transition for all economies. Shipping is the sector that will unlock the global push to zero emission fuels like hydrogen and ammonia. At COP, we will be saying ‘back us, or explain why you are blocking the energy transition to zero emission fuels.’”

Soren Toft, CEO of lead sponsor MSC, commented: “The conference represents a key moment in shipping’s transformation to a decarbonised industry. It is critical that the shipping sector has a supply of zero-emission fuels at scale and that the necessary policy framework and funding for R&D is put in place rapidly to help stimulate the process.”

Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of sponsor Hapag Lloyd, commented: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring about lasting change on shipping’s decarbonisation journey.

“It is clear that the time for promises and goals is over, and we now need tangible action from both industry and government to meet ambitious decarbonisation targets for shipping. We believe that by bringing both parties together at COP26, we can achieve precisely that, and we look forward to welcoming attendees in November.”

The announcement follows the conclusion of the International Chamber of Shipping’s autumn board meeting. More information on the conference can be found here.