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Thursday, October 17, 2019 

IMO reports that a global network of maritime technology cooperation centres has completed an array of pilot projects over the past three years, helping to drive forward the changes which are required to reduce GHG emissions from shipping.

Five regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) have been established under the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (GMN) Project, which is funded by the EU and implemented by IMO.

Between them, the MTCCs count 97 participating countries and have been working with 1,179 participating vessels to deliver sets of data which can help inform and support energy efficiency improvement. Port energy audits and retrofitting of domestic vessels for better energy efficiency are just two ways in which results are already being seen.

At the third annual GMN conference, held together with World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden, representatives from the five MTCCs reported on their pilot projects which assess a range of measures to help cut emissions in the maritime sector. These range from data collection in accordance with IMO MARPOL requirements, to assessing the impact of local improvements in ports, to reducing emissions in port areas.

"There is no silver bullet to decarbonise shipping - a basket of measures is needed ranging from framework conditions, standards and innovation to funding and economic incentives," said Ms Petra Doubkova, Policy Officer of DG MOVE, European Commission.  

As well as pilot projects, each MTCC is involved in hosting and arranging regional and national workshops and seminars, to raise awareness of IMO's energy efficiency measures for ships and to deliver capacity building through training. 

Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President, said: "Climate change is a global challenge, and it is only if we work together and share our knowledge and technologies on energy efficiency and renewable energy production, that we can be successful in mitigating climate change."

The EU-funded GMN project is continuing, through the MTCCs, to work with local stakeholders and push forward with raising awareness of energy efficiency in the maritime sector in accordance with the IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships.

"If international shipping is to achieve at least 50% reduction by 2050, what this really means is an average 85% emissions reduction per ship," said Edmund Hughes, Head, Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency, IMO. "The MTCCs are looking into technical and operational measures for energy efficiency - and this is why the MTCCs are so important; and we commend them."

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