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EU/IMO Project Drives Energy Efficiency

October 17, 2019

A global network of maritime technology cooperation centers has completed an impressive array of pilot projects over the past three years, helping to drive forward the changes which are required to reduce GHG emissions from shipping.

Five regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) have been established under the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centers (GMN) Project, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with a remit to develop and adopt standards for safer, greener and more sustainable shipping.

Between them, the MTCCs count 97 participating countries and have been working with 1,179 participating vessels to deliver sets of data which can help inform and support energy efficiency improvement. Port energy audits and retrofitting of domestic vessels for better energy efficiency are just two ways in which results are already being seen.

More than 160 people from 64 countries recently met for the third annual GMN conference, held together with World Maritime University (WMU) at the University's premises in Malmö, Sweden (8-10 October).

During the conference, representatives from the five MTCCs reported on their pilot projects which assess a range of measures to help cut emissions in the maritime sector. These range from data collection in accordance with IMO MARPOL requirements, to assessing the impact of local improvements in ports, to reducing emissions in port areas.

"There is no silver bullet to decarbonise shipping - a basket of measures is needed ranging from framework conditions, standards and innovation to funding and economic incentives," said Ms. Petra Doubkova, Policy Officer of DG MOVE, European Commission.  

As well as pilot projects, each MTCC is involved in hosting and arranging regional and national workshops and seminars, to raise awareness of IMO's energy efficiency measures for ships and to deliver capacity building through training.  

"The MTCC Network is a project that unites maritime experts from all over the world in five MTCCs, to provide capacity building for climate mitigation in the maritime shipping industry. Its work plays an invaluable part in promoting global awareness and in developing global solutions to mitigate GHG emissions from shipping through efficient and sustainable energy use," said Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President.  

"Climate change is a global challenge, and it is only if we work together and share our knowledge and technologies on energy efficiency and renewable energy production, that we can be successful in mitigating climate change," Dr. Doumbia-Henry said.

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