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COP26 – Shaping the Future of Shipping: Closing Ceremony- Remarks by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO

Ki tack LIM

Saturday 6 November, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UNited Kingdom

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honour to address you at the closing ceremony of this important conference.

I would like to express my appreciation for this industry initiative bringing leaders together in the sidelines of COP 26 to discuss the future of our vital industry.

You are all aware that shipping has historically maintained its position as the most environmentally friendly mode of transport of large quantities of goods.

However, the latest climate reports send a clear message. We urgently need to accelerate decarbonization in all industrial and transport sectors.

Maritime also has to play its part.

Shipping's decarbonization journey has already begun.

Following the Paris Agreement, IMO adopted in 2018 an Initial GHG Strategy setting out a vision and commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping as a matter of urgency.

A comprehensive set of mandatory measures to improve and expedite the entire world fleet’s energy efficiency was adopted in June this year and will enter into force next year.

IMO Member States have already initiated discussions on further reaching measures, which will progress shipping’s course to decarbonization.

We must upgrade our ambition keeping up with the latest developments in the global community.

Proposals have been put forward to set a maximum carbon-content for marine fuels in combination with carbon pricing mechanisms, based on economic instruments, or market-based measures.

As the resolve to tackle climate change is strengthened, the discussions at COP 26 also clearly emphasize that climate action should not further deepen the gap between developed and developing countries.

IMO has a framework to assess and address the potential impacts of GHG reduction measures on States paying particular attention to the needs of developing countries, especially Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries.

To make shipping’s decarbonization a reality, investments in renewable energy and port infrastructure are crucial.

IMO has established a cooperation platform with financial institutions to remove barriers that may impede investment in shipping’s energy transition.

The industry has been a key partner with IMO in the journey to decarbonize shipping.

Cooperation between the public and private sector is instrumental to the further development of IMO’s regulations and in facilitating R&D, technology cooperation.

The calls for action by world leaders, both from governments and business, are loud and clear in this past week at COP 26.

We need to act now, and we need to act urgently but we also need to act collaboratively, inclusively, equitably and sustainably, leaving no one behind.

I am certain that the momentum from COP 26 will be driving force for progress at IMO and keep the global maritime community at the heart of efforts to combat climate change.

Thank you!

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