New Global Maritime Forum report: Decarbonization, digitalization and safety high on industry agenda

The report “Breaking New Ground” presents the outcomes of the Global Maritime Forum’s recent Annual Summit in Hong Kong. The high-level meeting convened 200 decision-makers from across the entire maritime spectrum to address key challenges and opportunities facing global seaborne trade.

February 07 2019

In connection with the launch of the report Johannah Christensen, Managing Director, Head of Projects and Programmes at the Global Maritime Forum comments:

“Discussions at the Summit generated many new ideas and proposals for collaborative action. They will guide our activities in 2019 and beyond. The Global Maritime Forum will continue to provide a shared platform for industry leaders and other stakeholders to work together to shape the future of global seaborne trade and increase sustainable long-term economic development and human wellbeing.”

Urgent action needed to advance shipping’s decarbonization

Participantsin the Summitagreed that reachingthe climate emission reduction goalset by the IMO in April 2018requires urgent and coordinated action. This was most clearly articulated in a Call toAction in support of shipping’s decarbonization that was launched at the Summit and that has been signed by more than 50 industry leaders from across the global maritime industry. To succeed, they suggested that the industry will have to move beyond short-termism and self-interest toward active multi-stakeholder collaboration thatnot onlyinvolves all maritime stakeholders, but also fuel companies, engine manufacturers, financial institutions and others who have an important role to play in building the net zero carbon future for maritime transport. A tangible objective that came out of the discussions was to make it commercially viable, ten years from now, to order net zero emission deep-sea vessels for delivery in 2030. To support and incentivize shipping’s transition to a low carbon future, participants suggest that financial institutions integrate climate alignment considerations into lending decisions.

A new digital mindset

Emerging digital technologies and new digital business models will dramatically transform the maritime industry. Participants in the Summit suggested that a new mindset fit for the digital economy of the future is needed to succeed with this transformation. Several working groups at the Summit pointed to the resistance in the industry to sharing information. In their view, collecting and sharing trusted data is the foundation for using digital technologies to collaboratively improve performance in the maritime industry, for example with regards to maritime safety.

Safety a top priority for the maritime industry

Maritime safety was indeed a key issue that was discussed across many of the working groups at the Summit and participants agreed that safety must be a top priority for the industry. One group set out a vision of a zero-accident industry and developed a roadmap toward this goal but cautioned that this vision can only be realized if all stakeholders take responsibility for keeping seafarers safe and work together to make it happen.

Other issues discussed at the Summit included how the maritime industry can attract the talent of the future; how regulation can support innovation; how the 2020 Sulphur cap can be successfully implemented and how ship recycling can become more transparent and sustainable.

The full report “Breaking New Ground” is available for download here.

The Global Maritime Forum’s 2019 Annual Summit will take place in Singapore on 30-31 October.

For any further information please contact Head of Communications Torben Vemmelund at tve@globalmaritimeforum.orgor +45 2224 1446 or visit

Photos from the Global Maritime Forum’s 2018 Annual Summit are available here.

About the Global Maritime Forum

The Global Maritime Forum is an international not-for-profit organization committed to shaping the future of global seaborne trade to increase sustainable long-term economic development and human wellbeing. To serve its mission, the Forum convenes leaders from across the maritime community with policy-makers, NGOs, experts, and other influential decision-makers and opinion shapers from all geographies in a community of purpose to discuss collective challenges and to work together on developing new solutions and recommendations for action. In order to do so, the Forum identifies, develops and shares new insights and key issues on the global agenda and facilitates collaborative projects and initiatives that can deliver long-term impact and sustainable change.


The Global Maritime Forum is supported by a visionary group of leading industry partners who share the Forum’s ambition of creating a common platform to drive positive change that benefits not only their organizations and the industry, but society as a whole.

Strategic partners

A.P. Moller-Maersk, GasLog, Heidrick & Struggles, Hempel, Lloyd’s Register and MISC.


Anglo-Eastern, Cargill, Dorian LPG, Euronav, Gorrissen Federspiel, GAC, KFW IPEX-Bank, Leif Hoegh Foundation, Northern Navigation Group, Onassis Foundation, Panama Canal Authority, Pleiades, PSA International, Sovcomflot, Trafigura, V.Group and Wan Hai Lines.

Project partners

Our project partners possess deep knowledge within their respective fields of competencies. They are a prerequisite for the achievement of our mission to shape the future of global seaborne trade to increase sustainable long-term economic development and human wellbeing.

Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, Rocky Mountain Institute , PublicisLive, Rainmaking Innovation, The Value Web and UCL Energy Institute.

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