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Shaping the Future of Shipping: Delivering a Net Zero World

Largest industry gathering at COP28 set out plans to deliver a net zero future

    • At the Shaping the Future of Shipping: Delivering a Net Zero World summit a course was set to deliver on the International Maritime Organization’s net zero strategy.

    • The industry flagship summit convened over 300 maritime and energy sector leaders and key stakeholders, from 30 countries, across the supply chain along with six governments leaders during COP28 at the iconic Museum of the Future.

11 December 2023, Dubai: Following a day of active discussions at the Shaping the Future of Shipping: Delivering a Net Zero World summit yesterday, a course was set to deliver on the International Maritime Organization’s net zero strategy. The industry initiative brought together over 60 organisations to discuss tangible solutions to meet the ambitious net zero targets by or around 2050.

Over 300 leaders, that included over 30 nationalities from across the world, from the entire energy-maritime value chain convened, to work together to deliver a robust regulatory outcome at the IMO negotiations in March 2024 at MEPC81. The summit built on the discussions that have taken place throughout COP28, to determine ambitious solutions to advance infrastructure, fuel availability and financing.


Emanuele Grimaldi, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, opened the summit saying:

“Decarbonisation is bigger than any one industry or government but what is clear is that to be successful in meeting our climate targets the world will need shipping. We know that there are always announcements and noise here at COP meetings, but beyond the razmataz there are detailed negotiations and talks. This is what today was about.”


Melina Travlos, President, Union of Greek Shipowners and Chair, Neptune Shipping Lines, said in the keynote address:

“Today at this summit we are called to meaningfully address the challenges ahead and look to seize the opportunity. And it is a unique opportunity, not only to shape a sustainable future for shipping, but also to play a defining role in helping the whole global economy accelerate towards net zero… Collaboration, determination, and commitment from all of us are key to successfully bringing effective decarbonisation within our grasp.”


Arsenio Dominguez, International Maritime Organization Secretary General Elect, said during the Summit:

“Yes, we have the IMO Strategy, it was a great achievement last July. But it is what comes next, what are we going to start doing to make that a reality? At IMO we haven’t stopped. We are already carrying out the impact assessment on the fleet and on States in order to provide the necessary information for the marine environment protection committee meetings that will take place next year and that will lead us to those measures that will be adopted by 2025, implemented in 2027 and that will make these objectives of the strategy a reality, both technical and economic measures.”


Anders Hammer StrømmanLead Author Transport 6th Assessment Report, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, delivered an informative presentation that stressed the urgency of the issue to decarbonise. He concluded:

 “There is hope. The options are available and the time for action is now. At the same time our synthesis report of most of this year provided a warning. The current pace and the scale of climate action are insufficient to tackle climate change. And as you shape the future of shipping remember that our choices will reverberate for hundreds even thousands of years.


The summit was structured to ensure that delegates had an opportunity to provide their insights and experiences, to better understand the challenges and to identify how to address the climate crisis. This was done in the context of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) revised greenhouse gas strategy, updated climate science and increasingly dynamic energy and industrial transition policies.


Capt. Abdulkareem AlMessabi, Chairman, Emirates Shipping Association, said during his address to the delegates:

“It is the organisations that are sitting in this room today that hold the key in the future of shipping, and it is imperative that we tackle this head on from all angles by innovating and by developing and scaling next generation fuels, engines and vessels and the ability to carry new fuels like hydrogen, ammonia”.


Addressing the delegates H.E. Hessa Al Malek, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs, the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said:

“The IMO 2023 strategy stands as a testament to our shared ambition outlining a course toward a greener and more sustainable maritime future. This strategy is not just a document it reflects our collective resolve to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and guide industry towards a more environmentally path. While the IMO 2023 GHG strategy sets a high bar, the time has come to translate this aspiration into a concrete action. Aspiring to change is no longer enough.”


The summit was part of the COP28 presidency programme and hosted under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. The event was organised by a coalition of leading maritime industry bodies and coordinated by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), in partnership with the Emirates Shipping Association.

The summit culminated with a gala dinner held in on the 7th floor of the Museum of the Future.


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