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Tuesday, May 4, 2021 

The first meeting of the NextGEN project, which aims to bring together decarbonisation initiatives in the maritime sector, brought together multiple stakeholders from across the shipping community and the maritime value chain who have an interest in cutting greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and tackling climate change.

NextGEN - where GEN stands for "green and efficient navigation" – is led by the IMO and the Government of Singapore, aiming  to facilitate information sharing on various decarbonisation initiatives to identify opportunities for collaboration and gaps. During the inaugural meeting, some 70 participants discussed ways to ensure that no one is left behind in the maritime decarbonisation process, and brainstormed actions needed to facilitate collaboration across the maritime and energy supply chain. Participants were informed of plans to launch a NextGEN portal in the second half of 2021, to aid discussions and share ideas, facilitating coordination between complementary initiatives.

The IMO-Singapore NextGEN aims to build partnerships between stakeholders in the public and private sectors, not only in the shipping industry and ports but also private and development banks, and academia. Among the participants in the first, inaugural NextGEN meeting were leaders from the regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs), established by IMO in 2017 under a EU-funded project to drive forward the changes needed to reduce GHG emissions from shipping. 

The NextGEN meeting was held during the Future of Shipping Conference (23 April), jointly organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and IMO to address both decarbonisation and digitalisation in the maritime sector. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: "No single stakeholder can make decarbonisation of shipping a reality by acting alone. This Conference and the NextGEN workshop are significant in bringing together many different stakeholders in the maritime sector to achieve a common goal. We all have a part to play in addressing challenges and pushing blue sky thinking to develop and implement solutions. To keep pace with the demands of the global economy and the expectations for sustainable growth, the maritime world needs to be in the forefront of transformational change. We need to facilitate decarbonisation and enhance digitalisation for safer, more environmentally friendly, and efficient shipping."

IMO capacity building projects are supporting developing countries - especially the SIDS and LDCS - to bring IMO energy efficiency measures into national law and to implement them.

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