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Ports are key to 2050 emissions targets, says IMO chief

IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim emphasises the important role that ports will play in supplying fuels that will enable shipping to reduce GHG emissions during a IAPH conference in Guangzhou

Kitack Lim says that actions impacting ships will have an effect throughout the entire supply chain, especially on ports

INTERNATIONAL Maritime Organization secretary-general Kitack Lim has highlighted the importance of ports’ support for the greenhouse gas emission goals facing the shipping industry.

“Ports will be vital to provide infrastructure to supply alternative fuels to power shipping if we are to meet the ambitious GHG emissions targets,” Mr Lim told the audience at the International Association of Ports and Harbors World Ports Conference in Guangzhou via a video link.

The IMO last year agreed that emissions from shipping should peak as soon as possible and fall by at least 50% by 2050 compared with 2008 levels.

Mr Lim said ships burned around 15% of their total fuel while in ports.

“Transport is a chain. No link in a chain can be really be effective if viewed in isolation. Actions impacting ships will have an impact throughout the entire supply chain, especially on ports,” he added.

His remarks come as the IAPH is collaborating on the United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 13, which addresses climate change.

The port group, consisting of 170 ports globally and which has consultative non-governmental organisation status at the UN, worked with the Canadian government on a joint resolution that encourages voluntary co-operation between ports and shipping firms to reduce vessel GHG emissions.

This has resulted in a detailed submission to the IMO, which is set to be tabled at the meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee next week.

Mr Lim also acknowledged the IAPH’s support in co-developing port emissions toolkits on the IMO-based Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project.

The emissions reduction initiative is part of the IAPH’s World Ports Sustainability Program, which aims to empower port players to engage with business, governmental and societal stakeholders in creating sustainable added value.

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