Reaching the tipping point

Taking place in London between 27-28 October 2021, the Global Maritime Forum's Annual Summit will set the stage for two days of collaborative discussions on the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing the maritime sector today and in the future.

Decarbonizing shipping: the time to act is now

Decarbonization is the single defining issue of our time. The maritime sector has made its first steps towards a low-carbon future, emerging as a leader among harder-to-abate sectors. However, transformative action is needed to meet the urgency of the climate crisis.

To meet climate targets and to decarbonize the shipping sector, vessels using zero emission fuels must be the dominant and competitive choice by 2030. Full value chain pilots and demonstration projects are needed to demonstrate the viability of zero emission solutions. While first movers face additional costs and risks, they can become zero emission front runners and gain the business and investment opportunities that follow.

To make shipping’s decarbonization investable and zero emission solutions scalable, a supporting policy framework is needed, either in the form of a global market-based measure to guarantee a level playing field, or regional or domestic policy to kickstart the transition.The maritime sector also needs to ensure that its transition to zero emission fuels is equitable. This is why policy measures must include investments and technology transfers to developing countries.

For countries with large renewable energy potential, shipping’s decarbonization represents an opportunity to become exporters of the zero emission fuels of the future, which will contribute towards job creation, public health and the decarbonization of other sectors. The Global Maritime Forum’s Annual Summit will bring together leaders to tackle these and other critical challenges, and to develop plans for action.

Key questions

  • How can the maritime industry engage with policy makers on the urgent need for policy measures to make the transition to zero emission fuels possible?
  • What are the building blocks needed to create impactful pilots and demonstration projects?
  • How can the maritime sector navigate the uncertainty inherent in the transition?
    How we ensure that the transition to zero emission shipping is equitable?

“Zero-emissions ships must become the competitive choice by 2030, and we need credible market-based measures to get there.”
António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations

“No individual organization can decarbonize international shipping. We need to come together to share experiences, work on solutions through value chain collaboration and scale up.”
Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

“We are beyond the chicken and egg situation between the supply and demand for zero emission fuels. We have ordered our first ship that will run on a green fuel and every ship we order from now on will be capable of running on a green fuel.”
Søren Skou, CEO, A.P. Møller-Mærsk

“Business opportunities will arise from shipping’s decarbonization all along the value chain. From developing renewable energies, producing zero emission fuels, to transporting new fuels, and building new ships and retrofits. What is needed to dive into these opportunities fully is an ambitious and stable regulatory framework.“
Lois Zabrocky, President & CEO, International Seaways

Ensuring workforce wellbeing and diversity

While environmental sustainability has attracted a large and well-deserved share of attention in recent years, focus is being increasingly given to the social responsibilities of the maritime sector. The pandemic brought to light and exacerbated the sometimes unacceptable working conditions of seafarers, gravely impacting their physical and mental wellbeing. This may make it more difficult to attract seafarers with the right skills and in the right numbers to the profession. Demographic changes, digitalization and decarbonization only add further uncertainties to the sourcing of a maritime workforce in future.

At the same time, inclusion and diversity are becoming increasingly important to attracting the top talent, for which the maritime industry competes with other sectors. Building a diverse, welcoming and desirable workplace culture is key to making the industry attractive for younger generations. At the Annual Summit, participants will work together on solutions to strengthening wellbeing and diversity in the maritime sector and thus ensuring its ability to attract the right talent now and in the future.

Key questions

  • What can we learn from the crew change crisis as we build a better maritime sector?
  • How can we collaborate along the value chain to ensure wellbeing, safety and human rights are protected at sea?
  • What are the benefits of creating an inclusive and diverse maritime sector, and what actions can we take to collectively create an inclusive and attractive industry for a future generation of talent?

“The unprecedented crew change crisis risks having long lasting consequences on the maritime industry’s ability to attract seafarers. With other pressures mounting, now more than ever we must come together to ensure the wellbeing of the maritime workforce is protected.”
Jeremy Nixon, Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Network Express

License to operate

The maritime industry is coming under growing scrutiny from stakeholders who are demanding sustainable and fair practices. Governments are increasingly focused on issues such as corporate taxation and profit-shifting. Customers are ramping up calls for due diligence throughout their supply chains on various issues, from environmental performance and resource efficiency to the protection of human rights and decent working conditions. Investors are committing to sustainable finance, all while the public attention to environmental, social and governance issues is growing. The Global Maritime Forum’s Annual Summit will be an opportunity to take stock of these pressures and explore avenues to improve the maritime sector’s ESG performance.

Key questions

  • How can the maritime sector tackle ESG issues proactively?
  • What will be needed for the maritime industry to retain its license to operate in the future?

“Over time, you will not get access to the best resources, either capital or human, if you do not have a sustainable business model. ESG can be seen either as an opportunity or a burden. We should embrace this as an opportunity, lift our eyes and be pioneering.”
Kristin Holth, Non Executive Director, Maersk Tankers