Global Maritime Forum announces Tokyo as 2024 Annual Summit host

The Global Maritime Forum Annual Summit 2023 concluded in Athens on a note of optimism and with the announcement of next year’s location: Tokyo.

October 20 2023

The Global Maritime Forum Annual Summit 2023 concluded on Thursday after some 200 participants worked together to identify the actions needed to decarbonise the maritime sector and help its workforce acquire the new skills needed to succeed in the transition to a zero-carbon future.

“I am optimistic, but my question to the industry is: how do we keep the momentum we built here before the IMO regulations come into force in 2027? We have a lot more clarity now, and I trust that everyone will go back to their organisations and take concrete actions,” said Johannah Christensen, CEO of Global Maritime Forum.

Throughout the two and a half days of the Annual Summit, the participants got together in breakout sessions to focus on finding concrete solutions for financing future fuels, sharing the cost of decarbonisation with customers, improving data transparency and sharing, operational efficiencies that can immediately lower emissions, shipping’s role in the burgeoning hydrogen economy, building the workforce of the future, and much more.

Several discussions mentioned the need for collaboration with governments, something echoed by the Greek Minister of shipping and island policy, Christos Stylianides.

“It is a moral and political imperative to work together. The industry needs collaboration towards concrete actions. It is true, however, that governments constitute an important part in this effort. The industry cannot achieve its goals or reach its targets without strong government support. We – politicians – need to create a predictable environment which will promote investments in greener and more energy efficient technologies,” Stylianides said.

Next stop Tokyo

The Summit concluded with the announcement that next year’s meeting will take place in Tokyo on 15-17 October 2024.

“Without the Asian maritime community, we will never reach our ambitious goals. The first two Annual Summits took place in Hong Kong and Singapore, and to be a truly global forum, we must expand our dialogue with companies and governments in key Asian maritime hubs, such as China, Japan and Korea,” Christensen said.

Concrete initiatives launched in Athens

In Athens, four important press announcements were made.

The Getting to Zero Coalition, UMAS, and Race to Zero released a new report, ‘Climate Action in Shipping, Progress towards Shipping’s 2030 Breakthrough’, that assesses progress towards the goal of having scalable zero-emission fuels account for 5% of international shipping fuels by 2030. The report finds that while it is possible to achieve shipping’s breakthrough target, the window of opportunity will close soon, and rapid action is required from the industry.

Thirty leading maritime companies issued a joint ambition statement on operational efficiencies, pledging to adopt vessel optimisation strategies that can decrease annual fuel consumption by 20%, reduce annual emissions by more than 200 million tonnes of CO2, and enable the uptake of more expensive, scalable zero-emission fuels in the long run.

The All Aboard Alliance launched its Diversity@Sea pilot initiative, a collaborative effort involving 11 prominent companies focused on testing strategies to enhance inclusivity and appeal for all seafarers. The event featured a panel discussion with Captain Peter Hackett from BP and Joanna Lali, a Crew Operator and DEI Officer at Dorian LPG, moderated by Susanne Justesen, Program Director at Global Maritime Forum.

The Annual Summit also laid the groundwork for a new future maritime leaders network. The three young winners of the Global Maritime Forum’s Future Maritime Leaders essay competition presented the inaugural Ambition Statement on behalf of the network, calling on the industry to improve its efforts in education and inclusivity.

A high-resolution press photo can be downloaded here.

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About the Global Maritime Forum

The Global Maritime Forum is an international not-for-profit organisation working to create a decarbonised maritime industry that supports sustainable long-term economic development while being committed to human welfare and dignity. Established in 2017, the Forum is funded through a combination of grants and partner contributions but operates independently of any outside influence and does not support individual companies. Most of its roughly 50-person staff is based in the organisation’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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