To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Africa (MTCC Africa) domiciled at JKUAT, Mombasa hosted a side-event titled ‘Reconditioning Our Future – Decarbonization of Africa’s Shipping Sector through Energy Efficiency’, March 3, 2022 at the UNEP Complex in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to MTCC Africa, which is tasked with building capacity for climate change mitigation in the maritime shipping industry through the International Maritime Organisation, the event provided an opportunity to highlight the importance of a sustainable maritime sector reflecting the need to support a green transition of the maritime sector into a sustainable future.
“With pressure being piled to the maritime industry to decarbonize, we organised this side-event with the aim of promoting future policy and financing of port energy efficiency measures,” explained MTCC Africa Project Lead, Ms. Lydia Ngugi.
Principal Secretary, State Department for Shipping and Maritime, Mrs Nancy Karigithu, in her opening remarks noted that the African region has shown great commitment to address climate change while highlighting the importance of regulations as well as research in combating climate change in the maritime shipping industry.
“Regulation alone is not sufficient to address climate change. Recent studies conducted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has estimated that the global total anthropogenic Carbon dioxide emissions have risen over the years,” said Mrs. Karigithu.
The Principal Secretary further opined that supplemented by policy, energy, technical, technological and green financing options, it is indeed possible to transition to low and zero-carbon shipping.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi underscored the University’s commitment to the full and successful implementation of MTCC-Africa’s mandate.
“MTCC Africa, in collaboration with our partners and the technical support from International Maritime Organisation has a unique role to play, being the only of its kind in the continent and the region. It is my hope that the deliberations of this side-event will be fruitful as we focus on the identification of barriers and opportunities for maritime energy efficiency technologies in the developing world”, said Prof. Ngumi.
Chief, Department of Partnerships and Projects, International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Dr. Jose Matheickal re-iterated IMO’s commitment to combating climate change stating that it is one of the organisation’s highest priorities.
“To support implementation of the IMO’s GHG reduction strategy, IMO has been developing and implementing a number of shipping and port decarbonization projects that focus on technology demonstration and capacity building,” said Dr. Matheickal.
Head, Sustainable Mobility Unit at the UNEP, Mr. Rob de Jong, highlighted some of the short term and long term solutions to decarbonizing the shipping sector.
“To achieve decarbonisation, we first need to be proactive and start bringing the emissions down now. Secondly, we need an effective and efficient strategy and I am glad our colleagues in IMO are working on it,” said Mr Rob de Jong.
The side-event culminated in a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Ngugi. The discussion engaged the Netherlands Ambassador to Kenya, Mr. Maarten Brouwer, French Ambassador to Kenya, Mrs. Aline Kuster-Menager, Head, Department of Partnerships and Projects, International Maritime Organisation, Madam Gyorgyi Gurban, Projects Program Manager, UNEP Nairobi Convention Office, Dr Jared Bosire, and Head, Internal Senior Advisor, CONCITO – Denmark, Dr Anne Olhoff.