Shipping made a breakthrough on climate change last year, when governments at the UN’s International Maritime Organization agreed on an ambitious plan – to at least halve the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Meeting this goal, and those set by the Paris Climate Accord, requires a rapid shift away from the use of fossil fuels.
At the Global Maritime Forum’s Annual Summit in 2018, industry leaders united around the objective of making deep-sea zero-emission vessels a commercially viable and scalable reality by 2030 and issued a Call to Action in support of shipping’s decarbonization setting out some of the steps necessary to make this possible.
A transition to zero-emission fuels and new propulsion systems will require both technological and business model innovation. Additionally, there is a need to push innovation and research from the drawing board onto the high seas and form at-scale demonstration projects as soon as possible. The Global Maritime Forum is now working together with keys stakeholders to define the concrete next steps which can put the maritime industry on the right path towards a low-carbon future.
In June 2019, the Global Maritime Forum announced the Poseidon Principles – a new global framework for responsible ship finance. The Poseidon Principles are the world’s first sector-specific, self-governing climate alignment agreement amongst financial institutions. They establish a global framework for assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of ship finance portfolios and are consistent with the policies and ambitions of the International Maritime Organization, including its ambition for greenhouse gas emissions to peak as soon as possible and to reduce shipping’s total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
Founding Signatories of the Principles include Citi, DNB, Societe Generale, ABN Amro, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Credit Agricole CIB, Danish Ship Finance, Danske Bank, DVB, ING and Nordea. Together they represent a bank loan portfolio to global shipping of approximately $100 billion – around 20% of the global ship finance portfolio. Additional banks are expected to join them in the near future, including Asian banks.
The Poseidon Principles were developed by a drafting group of global shipping banks – Citi, Societe Generale, and DNB – and leading industry players – A.P. Møller Mærsk, Cargill, Euronav, Lloyd’s Register and Watson Farley & Williams – with expert support provided by the Global Maritime Forum, Rocky Mountain Institute and University College London Energy Institute. The drafting group was chaired by Michael Parker, Global Industry Head of Shipping & Logistics at Citi, and member of the Global Maritime Forum’s Board of Directors.