Joint Release by MPA and SMF: International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonisation unveils nine pathways to support decarbonisation in the maritime industry

21 April 2021

      The International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonisation (IAP) formed in July 2020 by the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), has submitted its recommendations to the Singapore Government. The IAP has identified nine pathways to maritime decarbonisation, including policy options to accelerate the transition and ways in which Maritime Singapore can support the industry’s decarbonisation.

2     The IAP is co-chaired by Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman of the Singapore Maritime Foundation, together with Mr Wong Weng Sun, Chairman of the Board and Governing Council of the Singapore Maritime Institute. It comprises 28 other leaders from maritime and related organisations, including shipping associations, shipping companies, port operators, energy companies, engine makers, shipyards, insurance and finance players, as well as academia.


3     The IAP’s vision is for Maritime Singapore to support decarbonisation of the industry to meet or exceed the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) goals for 2030 and 2050 by:

  • shaping Greenhouse Gas (GHG) measures to ensure that actions have a real and lasting positive impact;
  • setting standards for operational, technical and safety factors;
  • piloting innovations in the technical, operational and digital sphere;
  • building selective infrastructure to support these innovations;
  • deploying incentives at national, regional or global level, combined with private capital initiatives, to implement solutions for vessel efficiency and new fuels; and
  • connecting global stakeholders to share knowledge and implement actions.

4     To achieve this vision, the IAP has recommended focusing on four strategic objectives: (1) harmonise standards; (2) implement new solutions; (3) finance projects; and (4) collaborate with partners. Supporting these objectives are nine pathways to decarbonisation, as shown in Table 1.

5     Recognising the importance of taking action and collaborating for change, the IAP has further identified joint projects to embark on. These projects include conducting fuel and electrification trials for vessels and setting up a decarbonisation centre in Singapore. See Annex 1 for the link to the full report, and a summary of the proposed action plans and Annex 2 for joint projects which the IAP has identified.

Table 1: The IAP recommends four strategic objectives and nine pathways to decarbonisation

New Solutions
1. Shape common metrics for carbon accounting

2. Set standards for new technologies and solutions
3. Pilot trials and deploy solutions

4. Build flexible ship capabilities and relevant infrastructure
5. Develop green financing mechanisms

6. Develop mechanisms that could support carbon pricing

7. Act as custodian for and deploy R&D funds and grants
COLLABORATE with Partners
8. Multiply local, regional and global collaboration across stakeholders

9. Set up a decarbonisation centre

6 In his opening address, Mr Sohmen-Pao said that the strategies represent the IAP's collective vision for how Singapore can contribute to the global effort to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping. He noted that decarbonisation of the industry would require multiple paths of action, and the collective effort of public and private stakeholders.

7 IAP co-chair Mr Wong added that the release of the IAP's recommendations was a milestone in the journey towards maritime decarbonisation. It would be important to keep up the momentum and bring about concrete action through the joint projects identified in the report. He welcomed additional proposals for collaboration from interested stakeholders.

8 Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Transport, Mr Chee Hong Tat said, "We thank the IAP for the significant effort and thought which went into producing the report. We will consider their recommendations when developing the Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint 2050. The fight against climate change is a global ambition and a collective responsibility. Singapore is committed to do our part to support the IMO and the international maritime community in climate action."

Annex 1 – Action and Collaboration Decarbonisation Pathways for the Global Maritime Industry report

Annex 2 – Joint Projects Identified by the IAP

Annex 3 – Members of the International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonisation

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