IAPH and International Chamber of Shipping bring Clean Energy Marine Hubs to COP28

20 Dec 2023 13:45 Environment

At the recent COP28 Shaping the Future of Shipping summit organised by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) in Dubai on 10 December with over 300 maritime industry CEOs, government ministers and NGOs present, IAPH President and Hamburg Port Authority CEO Jens Meier called on ports to actively collaborate with each other on knowledge sharing between themselves and the maritime community to accelerate decarbonisation. The summit was hosted under the patronage of the UAE Minstry of Energy and Infrastructure, and organised by a coalition of leading maritime industry bodies and coordinated by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) , in partnership with Emirates Shipping Association.

Not a competitive issue between ports
Jens Meier commented “We should not see this as a competitive issue among ports. We need to develop tools together to ensure the infrastructure is available for low and zero carbon fuels for when the ships calling need them.”

He cited capacity building of ports and their people as well as the development of safety and readiness level tools by the Association between the IAPH climate and energy technical committee port colleagues as examples of such collaboration.

In recent months IAPH had worked as partner of the IMO Norway GreenVoyage2050 project on developing skills in the safe and efficient handling of alternative fuels at a seminar held in Mumbai, India involving port professionals from developing countries. In the New Year, a Port Readiness Level tool developed by a group of advanced ports of the World Port Climate Action Program and IAPH’s Clean Marine Fuels Working Group will be made available by IAPH as an initial manual self-assessment tool following successful testing by the Port of Rotterdam.

Asked whether ports will be ready in time with infrastructure, he commented “Hamburg Port Authority will be ready, other pioneering ports will be ready. But another important factor to consider is the necessary critical volume of mass demand, given the lower density of these fuels and the need for our organisations to look at our KPIs and bottom lines.”

The key role of a market-based measure to ensure an equitable energy transition
IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven commented on the vital role of ports as Clean Marine Fuel Hubs (CEM Hubs) in the supply of new and existing fuels not only to bunker ships but also the production of green hydrogen, storage and subsequent seaborne transportation of this renewable energy via fuels such as methanol and ammonia to import countries.

He said: “With the IMO agreeing to accelerate shipping decarbonisation, one key success factor will be the successful negotiation of a market-based measure to raise funding for a just and equitable energy transition. A globally implemented economic measure will need to be agreed upon at the IMO that also ensures developing countries and small island states are not left out in infrastructure and capacity building. Their active participation in the Clean Energy Ministerial CEM Hubs initiative is one way of ensuring that.”

Patrick Verhoeven thanked ICS for taking the initiative on the CEM Hubs and bringing IAPH’s 180-strong global network of port authorities and operators on board: “Shipping and ports as well as regulators, the energy sector and governments need to work together globally to resolve this difficult conundrum – regional schemes risk creating imbalances and unfair competition, distorting markets both on- and offshore.”

Brazil joins as country member of CEM Hubs; founding partners UAE and Canada push ahead to support ports
Coinciding with COP28, Brazil now joins founder partners UAE and Canada alongside Uruguay, Norway and Panama in the CEM Hubs initiative. This initiative comes under the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) where energy ministers collaborate internationally, which will formalise a work programme in the first quarter of 2024 alongside ICS and IAPH, with supporting organisations IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) GMCD (Global Maritime Centre for Decarbonisation) and other industry partners. ICS’s Strategy and Communications Director Stuart Neil commented: “The CEM Hubs workstreams will establish how the energy hubs will get funded, to de-risk investments for infrastructure to get built, how safety will be addressed and how these new hubs could operate as a network rather than a series of bilateral export-import trade lanes.”

Just prior to COP28, the Canadian Transport Minister announced 165 million Canadian dollars of funding for the energy transition in Canadian ports over seven years, directed principally towards port infrastructure and onshore power. Also last week during COP28, IAPH member AD Ports Group of the United Arab Emirates announced an MOU with MASDAR (principal renewable energy producer of the United Arab Emirates) to evaluate the requirements for the development of a hydrogen production hub in the Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD) that will serve both domestic and export markets. Further announcements are expected in 2024 from CEM Hub participants.

About IAPH
Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has developed into a global alliance of 180 port authorities as well as 148 port-related businesses. Comprised of 84 different nationalities across the world’s continents, member ports handle approximately one third of the world’s sea-borne trade and well over 60% of the world container traffic. IAPH leads global port industry initiatives on decarbonisation and energy transition, risk and resilience management, and accelerating digitalisation in the maritime transport chain. The IAPH’s World Ports Sustainability Program has grown into the reference database of best practices of ports applying the UN Sustainable Development Goals and integrating them into their businesses. www.iaphworldports.org.

IAPH and International Chamber of Shipping bring Clean Energy Marine Hubs to COP28

Press contact

Victor Shieh
IAPH Communications Director
Email: victor.shieh@iaphworldports.org