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Decarbonisation is One of the Biggest Challenges for Shipping, Says Minister

Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, Ioannis Plakiotakis.

Shipping is required to face the complex challenges placed by the progressively stricter IMO and EU environmental legislation and the financial issues related thereto, Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, Ioannis Plakiotakis said on Wednesday.

While giving a keynote speech during the opening panel of the HELMEPA conference on the third day of this year’s Posidonia exhibition, Plakiotakis, referred to decarbonisation as a ‘flaming issue’ and as one of the ‘biggest challenges’ for shipping.

“Shipping has to secure, in the very near future, worldwide availability of safe alternative low and zero carbon fuels and the related infrastructure. We are, however, still far from there,” he said.

During his speech, the minister stressed the importance of new financial instruments and resources to fund the journey to decarbonization.

“Higher standards of safety and environmental performance often come from different organizations, but always at an important financial cost. Financing of innovative solutions for the reduction of pollution from vessels and enhancement of energy efficiency of ships, including the installation of pioneering technological equipment, or the building of ships of innovative design and systems, presupposes the existence of funding mechanisms beyond the traditional ones.”

According to Plakiotakis, the transition to a carbon-free future, “requires that we gradually move from the current uncertainty to a safe environment that will be leading future investments and make sure that they result in the expected benefits for the environment, entailing a mix of targeted and flexible, private and public funding”.

The Greek minister called on the EU and the International Maritime Research Board and Associated Fund to generously support and contribute to the required funding through sources such as the EU structural budget and other industry-led initiatives.

Global solutions are needed

“To decarbonise a truly global industry global solutions are needed,” International Maritime Organisation Secretary General Kitack Lim said, addressing the audience via a prerecorded video message.

Lim highlighted that the goal is to ensure shipping continues to operate safely, securely, and efficiently.

“Our goal is to ultimately decarbonise shipping and for that, we need to collaborate between all stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions. I very much hope for your support in our endeavours. We must continue our voyage together and leave no one behind,” he said.

Photo source: Union of Greek Shipowners

Photo source: Union of Greek Shipowners

In her speech, Union of Greek Shipowners President Melina Travlos said: “The Union of Greek Shipowners will continue to work consistently and with dedication, in order to adopt realistic and feasible solutions that will lead our industry in this new era.”

The Posidonia 2022 shipping exhibition is organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, the Union of Greek Shipowners and the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and with the support of the Municipality of Piraeus and the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee.

Taking place at the Athens Metropolitan Expo, Posidonia 2022 will run until June 10.

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  1. Johnny Zoumboulis Reply

    Yes maybe a good idea would be to go back to using row boats. These people are insane, what does zero carbon mean? I’ll tell you what it means it means not being able to travel when you want too; only with permission by the junta, ready to monitor your every move unless however you have a private jet that is.

  2. LEPEZ Reply

    He should come in Santorini on the 15/06 to measure the rate of pollution and fine particles, with the 8 cruise ships that will be stationary against the wind for hours, engine running. A German institute has already noted a few years ago a huge pollution in Santorini. By accepting all these cruise ships, the authorities accept an irreversible degradation of our ecosystem.

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