From 30 to 31 August, the World Maritime University (WMU) hosted an international seminar on the role of green technologies and capacity building in maritime decarbonization, in Malmö, Sweden. The seminar, “MARPOL at 50 – our commitment goes on: Maritime Decarbonization,“ was organized as part of the Horizon Europe SeaEnergy project and aligned with the 2023 World Maritime Day theme “MARPOL at 50 – our commitment goes on.”
The two-day seminar brought together a distinguished gathering of maritime industry leaders, experts, policymakers, and academics, including representatives from the European Commission and the International Maritime Organization. The event served as a forum for dialogue and knowledge exchange, addressing critical aspects of maritime decarbonization, such as green technology adoption, global collaboration, and capacity building.
During the first day, relevant stakeholders shared their perspectives on the role of green technologies and global cooperation towards maritime decarbonization. Discussions revolved around several key topics, including the current progress in decarbonization efforts, the challenges faced, best practices, capacity-building initiatives, life cycle assessment, and cost-benefit analysis.
Day two featured a series of roundtable discussions aimed at identifying the main benefits and barriers within four broad topics: technologies, business models, policies and regulations, and global cooperation towards the decarbonisation of the port sector, considering both international and regional perspectives.
A regional Baltic & North Sea workshop took place on the morning of day two as part of the SEANERGY project activities, aimed at gathering insights and feedback from relevant stakeholders in port clusters. Tim Verhoeven, from Port of Antwerp-Bruges, participated in this session. He emphasized the importance of collaboration among stakeholders and different sectors in achieving successful energy transitions, specifying how this holistic and collaborative approach contributes to the innovative demonstrations of PIONEERS and the Green Port Master Plan.
Tim highlighted the evolving role of port authorities over the past decade, positioning them as energy hubs that not only benefit their immediate surroundings but also entire regions and countries. The changing demands of clients and stakeholders have necessitated a shift in the role of port authorities towards becoming community builders and facilitators, bringing new opportunities and possibilities. Overall, the workshop was instrumental in guiding EU ports and policymaking in the pursuit of a sustainable and decarbonized shipping sector.
The journey toward maritime decarbonization requires unity, innovation, and adaptability, with stakeholders playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of sustainable shipping and port operations.
September 14, 2023