The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has heightened efforts to assist reduce greenhouse gas emissions through its five regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Caribbean and the Pacific.
Towards this end, JKUAT, which hosts the MTCC-Africa region has taken the lead in data collection and reporting on fuel consumption and emissions, promotion of low-carbon technologies and awareness creation on the effects of emissions in line with MARPOL Annex VI regulation.
MARPOL Annex VI, entered into force 19 May 2005, limits the main air pollutants contained in ships exhaust gas, including Sulphur oxides and Nitrous oxides, prohibiting deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances. The regulation also standardizes shipboard incineration, and the emissions of volatile organic compounds from tankers.
In midterm review meeting of the three-year programme held at JKUAT, September 25, 2018 between IMO and the University, there was a collective agreement that the Centre’s work has been commendable. Through workshops and awareness campaigns, MTCC-Africa has been included in policy documents, both locally and regionally, allowing the Centre to tap into national and international funds to enhance its work.
It was noted that the data collected by the Centre will not only be vital in reducing the emissions by the ships but will also inform policy considering that the shipping industry was not covered by the Global Greenhouse Gas emissions reduction commitments in the Paris agreement, despite the huge carbon footprints.
The review meeting also recommended that academia should leverage the data collected and delve into research in order to produce knowledge that will identify gaps for capacity building, inform policy and create employment in the untapped maritime field in the region. The knowledge disseminated will also be crucial in enhancing the quality of air thus alleviating the health index of the people.
Although there is adequate government support towards the maritime industry, it was noted that there is need for better synergies among the stakeholders involved in the project to maximize on the potential of the Centre.
The meeting was attended by; from IMO, Mr. Anton Rhodes, Mr. Xing Sun and Nana Gibradze and from JKUAT, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Ngumi, DVC Finance, Prof. Otoki Moirongo and Dr. Robert Kiplimo. The IMO team will be meeting other stakeholders of MTCC throughout the week.