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Press Release

International Chamber of Shipping announces maritime decarbonisation summit and centenary dinner

9 February 2022
The international shipping industry’s flagship event at COP26, Shaping the Future of Shipping, was held on 6th November 2021 at Glasgow, University of Strathclyde. Credit: ICS/Stewart Hemley

9 February 2022: The board of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has announced plans to mark its centenary and host a high-level summit to address the challenge of decarbonisation.

Responding to a challenge thrown down by industry leaders in Glasgow, during COP26, ICS will work with partners to convene shipowners, ministers, maritime, energy and infrastructure leaders with the challenge of bringing forward a tangible path to decarbonise the sector. The closed-door meeting will be held in London the day after a dinner on Monday, 20 June 2022 at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich to mark the organisations Centenary.

Esben Poulsson, chairman of ICS said:

“We have heard many words and commitments over the past year but there has been very little real action. Business is about getting things done so the board has decided to use the moment when we mark our 100 years at the helm of shipping to bring the leaders of our industry, plus leaders from other sectors and policymakers, together to agree a tangible path forward based on reality and not just wishful thinking.

Change is only going to come if we engage beyond our usual processes. Industry needs clarity but political and investment risk is at an all time high. If we are to break the deadlock and scale the actions, we need to come together to shape a future that works for all.”

ICS will use the summit to convene a gathering of the world’s most influential maritime, political, and business leaders to the City of London. Productive conversations with governments during COP26 highlighted the need for leaders from the entire value chain to work together to address shipping’s decarbonisation challenge.

Building on the success of the Shaping the Future of Shipping Conference held in Glasgow, the Shaping the Future of Shipping summit will take place in London on Tuesday, 21June 2022.

The summit will see industry leaders and ministers from across the globe joined by members from the ports, energy, and finance sectors, as well as representatives of the unions and foundations to ensure workers and the developing world are at the heart of the supply chain’s green transition. The summit will be chaired by former UK shipping minister Nusrat Ghani MP who said:

“It was clear from the previous Shaping the Future of Shipping conference at COP26 that shipping leaders are aligned on the need for action and are prepared to tackle headfirst the decarbonisation challenges that lie ahead.

There is a great deal of work to be done and industry and governments must come together and collaborate to rapidly accelerate the steps needed for shipping to decarbonise.

I am delighted to be moderating the Shaping the Future of Shipping summit, that will enable leaders from maritime, governments and across the supply chain, to create the vital solutions needed to achieve a zero-carbon maritime industry.”

At the ICS board meeting on 8th February, board members reiterated the importance of creating open dialogues between all stakeholders to find practical solutions to the barriers preventing shipping’s green transition. The ICS-led summit will convene all parties vital to shipping’s decarbonisation and move forward on resolving systemic issues to progress to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The agenda will focus on identifying practical next steps for solutions designated by industry last year including investing in research and development, identifying and prioritising the most viable fuel choices for shipping, and ensuring a just transition, needed to achieve net-zero by 2050.

Concerns around the high levels of political risk preventing a green transition were reaffirmed by the board. ICS hopes the summit can act as an antidote to the lack of ambition some governments have shown toward developing regulation and allocating finance for shipping’s decarbonisation.

To achieve a fair and equitable transition, ICS will work with governments at the summit to progress effective regulation at a global level.

Emanuele Grimaldi, incoming Chair of ICS added:

“We are less than thirty years away from 2050 and we have no time to waste. So, ICS is convening experts and leaders capable of turning talk into action.

“As highlighted at the Shaping the Future of Shipping Conference in Glasgow, we will only know whether the shipping industry’s efforts are a success when the transition is underway in earnest. This meeting of minds from maritime and across industries and governments in June will be a decisive point in shipping’s green transition.”

The ICS will also celebrate the organisation’s centennial in June, marking 100 years of supporting global shipping and seafarers. Further details of the Centenary Dinner are available here with details of the Shaping the Future Summit to be released in due course.