An international cooperation centre to help Africa manage harmful effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas and other emissions in the maritime shipping industry, has been launched at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) – Africa, is one of the five fronted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the auspices of the Global MTCC Network (GMN), with funding from the European Union.
MTCC-Africa has embarked on two pilot projects which are slated to promote uptake of energy efficient and low carbon technologies, data collection, analysis and reporting on fuel consumption; and baseline surveys of air quality within African ports.
Speaking during the launch of the Centre on Wednesday December 13, 2017, Principal Secretary, State Department of Maritime and Shipping Affairs, Mrs. Nancy Karigithu said that shipping and aviation industries were not covered by various global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions yet the two had significant emissions.
The Principal Secretary hailed the inauguration of MTCC-Africa as the beginning of an African journey towards mitigating harmful effects of climate change as a result of emissions from ships.
“The GMN initiative fits within the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework for Convention on Climate Change which came into force in in November 2016,” Karigithu said.
The Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Kenya, Mr. Bruno Pozzi said, if not effectively addressed, climate change could roll back gains already consolidated in the fight against poverty around the world.
He added that EU was galvanizing political support and as well as adoption of new technologies and practices towards climate change mitigation.
Mr. Bruno further opined that addressing the challenges caused by climate change was one way of attaining sustainable and inclusive development for the people of the world.
Director of the Marine Environment Division at IMO, Dr. Stefan Micallef commended the government of Kenya and JKUAT for taking the lead in advancing targeted measures to roll back impacts of greenhouse gas emissions in the region.
“JKUAT staff and students have demonstrated understanding of climate change through applied research. The university was also the first in the region to roll out the marine engineering training,” Dr. Stefan said.
He added that IMO was extending technical assistance to both shipping companies as well as countries through the GMN to help cut carbon footprints in various jurisdictions.
JKUAT Chairman of Council, Prof. Paul Kanyari said MTCC-Africa had been established with the staff offices at JKUAT Mombasa CBD Campus fully furnished. Requisite staff, he added, had also been deployed to run the activities of the Center.
On her part, JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga thanked IMO for awarding JKUAT the bid to host MTCC-Africa.
“We take exceptional pride as champions of climate change mitigation, one of the most pronounced challenges facing our planet today,” Prof. Imbuga said.
The Centre was launched during a regional workshop on capacity building for climate mitigation in the maritime and shipping industry. The three-day event that comes to close on Friday was attended by over 100 participants drawn from 13 countries.