The oceans will be vital for future global growth and prosperity. The OCED has estimated that the blue economy can double its contribution to global value creation by 2030. There is also a tremendous potential for energy-efficient transport. As shipping carries more than 90 % of the world's trade in goods, maritime transport is indispensable for international trade and essential to the world economy and further blue growth.
However, our oceans are under considerable pressure as a result of climate change, acidification, pollution and unsustainable harvesting. Seaborne transport is one of the most energy-efficient forms of transport, but it is also a significant contributor to global emissions. A transition to green shipping should be a key part of a global strategy to reduce the environmental burden on our oceans and the atmosphere. Emissions and discharges from shipping can be further reduced. To achieve this, we need to develop and adopt new green technologies and solutions.
The Norwegian Government has ambitious environmental goals for the maritime industry. Sustainable growth and value creation are key objectives of Norway’s maritime policy and crucial for the ocean economy at large. At the same time, green shipping is a focus area in Norway's environmental policy. Facilitating the development of new and environmentally friendly solutions is a priority. These are key elements of the Norwegian Government's maritime strategy, which was presented in 2015, and the recently launched ocean strategy.
On the global stage, collaboration across borders and commitment from all stakeholders are essential for a joint effort to develop a greener maritime industry. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the world’s principal regulator of shipping with regard to safety, security and environmental issues. Through the development of international rules, the IMO plays a significant role in establishing a level playing field for the maritime industry.
Participants in the international maritime markets must focus on energy efficiency and environmentally friendly solutions across all segments of the maritime sector. The Norwegian maritime cluster aims to lead the way in the development and use of technologies and solutions that result in lower emissions. A number of pioneering concepts are being developed. Examples include battery- and gas-powered and energy efficient low-emission engines, new hull and propeller designs, and hybrid solutions using batteries, LNG, hydrogen and fuel cells.
Improved energy efficiency can already be achieved through measures such as hull cleaning and speed optimisation. In the future, there will be a wider menu of available measures. Autonomy, automation and remote operations all hold the potential for cleaner, safer and more efficient operations. Digitalisation is vital for the development of innovative maritime technology. At the same time, technological developments can also create challenges in relation to existing legal frameworks.
The ASEM conference ‘Green Shipping: Blue Business. Moving Forward Together’ will provide an opportunity for authorities, businesses and organisations from all ASEM countries to exchange practical experience, solutions, ideas and suggestions in this field. By promoting a green shift in all segments of the maritime industry, the conference also aims to contribute to the wider agenda of implementing the UN’s Agenda 2030.