Stefanos Papandreou & Theano Kalapotharakou co-publishers of ELNAVI report from Limassol, Cyprus
Decarbonization is not a matter of shipping efforts but the result of a broader global coalition.
Maritime Cyprus forum 2022 elaborated on this critical topic and the shipping response to the 3Cs crises challenges and competitiveness.
The forum invited top Shipping personalities from the Greek-Cypriot and international shipping community to share their views and perspectives on the latest developments.
More than 900 shipping professionals from around the world, originating from 35 countries, attended the conference, organized biennially in Cyprus.
Mrs Liana Charalambous Tanos, Chair of the Conference and Acting Permanent Secretary of the Shipping Deputy Ministry, delivered a welcome address to today’s conference participants. The Chair of the Conference marked the event as an opportunity to exchange views on critical challenges faced by the international shipping industry.
This was followed by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, who delivered the opening address, who referred to Cyprus’ long-term strategy for shipping: “SEA Change 2030”.
The President emphasized that Cyprus supports the shipping industry in its transition to a green and digital shipping by providing tax incentives, encouraging the use of alternative fuels by Cyprus flagged ships and providing funding to promote innovation.
The President also referred to the efforts of the Shipping Deputy Ministry to promote maritime professions and gender equality in shipping, as well as the immediate actions taken by Cyprus to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the practical measures initiated by Cyprus to help the seafarers affected by the war in Ukraine.
The first panel discussion, themed “Is the Regulatory framework ready to respond to the 3 Cs?”, was moderated by Mr Vassilios Demetriades, Shipping Deputy Minister to the President. The panel included H.E. Mr Kitack Lim, Secretary General, International Maritime Organization and H.E. Ms Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport, European Commission.
H.E. Mr Kitack Lim discussed how regulating authorities both globally and regionally must work together to face common challenges. H.E. Ms Adina Vălean agreed, highlighting how European logistic chains have been resilient and adaptable, despite the recent energy crisis.
Further, the discussion focused on whether the emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2050 are sufficiently ambitious or in need of re-evaluation. In particular, speakers highlighted how regulators can provide various incentives to encourage the use of low and zero carbon fuels.
After the first panel discussion, a keynote speech on "Navigating the new normal" was given by Mr Ben Nolan – Managing Director, Maritime, Rail & Energy Infrastructure, Equity Research, at Stifel Financial Corp – on the outlook for shipping segment demands.
The role of Shipowners in this volatile environment was the title of a prestigious panel moderated by George Mouskas Vice President of CUS Cyprus Union of Shipowners and included the following top names of Greek Cypriot Shipping: Andreas Hadjiyiannis President of CUS, George Prokopiou chairman of Dynacom Tankers and Mr Polys V. Hajioannou CEO of SafeBulkers inc.
Mr Prokopiou commented on the new environmental rules that affect shipping and asked: who is responsible for the pollution of the environment the taxi driver or the passenger? The shipping industry operates the latest model of ships and therefore is not responsible for the air emissions. Mr Procopiou highlighted that fuel is the biggest cost to shipowners and global interests must be aligned to protect the environment, while optimizing energy use through available technologies and future fuels. There are no miracles to trade in line with the permissible emissions and we have to suggest realistic solutions and not frictions.
Alternative fuels cannot be adopted in the foreseeable future and oil will remain the main fuel for the engine propulsion.
Decarbonization is a global problem and must have a global solution. Only Cooperation can bring results.
Mr Hadjiyiannis agreed that shipping cannot depend on electricity and ETS Environmental Trading Scheme is not designed for shipping. Unfortunately Europe cannot understand the shipping industry which is highly affected by the cyclicality and complexity of the market. Moreover tonnage tax cannot be considered by Europe as a state aid. We need to explain that Greek and Cypriot shipping is different and very important for the competitiveness of European economy.
Mr Hajioannou told that he is eager to see the next years the development of alternative fuels However his company in an effort to comply with the environmental requirements (phase III Tier III of IMO) ordered in the early 2020 a series fuel efficient kamsarmax dry cargo vessels at Japanese shipyards reducing significantly the air emissions.
Finally veteran shipowner Cpt Panagiotis Tsakos remarked that we must attract young people in shipping otherwise the Greek shipping will follow the fate of other European shipping nations British etc.
It must be noted that the Cyprus Personality & shipping industry award 2022 was handed over from HE The President of the Cyprus Republic Mr Anastasiadis to Christos Mavrelis former minister of communications & works and a lawyer who during his term contributed to the growth of the registered ships that fly the Cyprus flag all over the world.
The decarbonization path in shipping
The session “Towards zero emissions in Shipping”: What is the tipping point? was moderated by Mr Sveinung Oftedal, Specialist Director, Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment.
On the panel was Dr John Kokarakis, Technical Director, South East Europe, Black Sea and Adriatic Zone, Bureau Veritas, Dr Henning Brauer, Technical Director, Gesellschaft für Oeltransporte mbH (GEFO) and Mr Panos Zachariadis, Technical Director, Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management Ltd. Panelists discussed incoming changes to the regulatory landscape, and its effects on shipping as the industry transitions towards sustainability.
Conversation largely focussed on the alternative fuels under consideration, with the panel exploring the viability of each to various areas – and the need for these solutions to be compatible with existing port infrastructure and ships.
Methanol was highlighted by Mr Panos Zachariadis as a strong candidate for bulk, as well as other segments.
Dr John Kokarakis championed LNG as a viable solution, available today, explaining how methane slip is actively being reduced. Regulation was also discussed and the value of mid-term measures but also market-based measures. Dr Henning Brauer and Dr John Kokarakis both commented that regional measures, such as those imposed by the EU, are unnecessary in the short term, and believe the International Maritime Organization (IMO) should be the primary regulatory body. This, they said, would ensure global consistency.
Mr Panos Zachariadis, however, emphasized the value in EU measures, which encourage the IMO to further develop their regulations package.
It was agreed that industry-wide collaboration is required to ensure effectiveness of current and future regulations.
Taxonomy in Shipping
The second panel of the 2nd day focused on Taxonomy in Shipping – A panacea or a detour to sustainable/green finance?
Mr Nicolas Bornozis, President and CEO, Capital Link, Inc was moderator for the session. The panel included Ms Fotini Ioannidou, Deputy Director Waterborne Transport, Head of Unit Maritime Safety, DG MOVE, European Commission, Ms Katalin Dobranszky, Senior Director, Innovation, Finance and Fiscal Affairs, ECSA, Mr Thanasis Antonakis, CFO, Safe Bulkers, Inc, and Mr Sean McLaughlin, Strategy Consultant, Houlder Ltd.
The panel covered how taxonomy does, and will continue to, affect investment in technologies and processes that form a key part of driving sustainability in shipping. Ms Fotini Ioannidou opened the panel with a short, clarifying presentation on current EC taxonomy legislation, which covers every sector – including aviation. The presentation highlighted the EC’s objectives to become climate neutral continent by 2050, a goal which requires huge investment not only in shipping, but all transport sectors.
Ms Fotini Ioannidou concluded that a key objective is to develop an international solution through close collaboration with other regions. Pointing to the industry’s preparedness, Mr Sean McLaughlin commented on the lack of awareness among shipowners of the importance of taxonomy. “The industry needs to take note, and action, on regulatory reporting, to ensure success. Waiting for the regulatory landscape to settle is not a viable or sustainable strategy,” he said. Mr Thanasis Antonakis brought the audience’s attention to the importance of retrofitting, and the value the variety of solutions currently available to offer to shipping in efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the 60,000 vessels currently in operation.
The Young Executives Session, titled Defining the 4 th C (Change) through Womanning & YoungShipping minds, offered an interactive, capacity-building and problem-solving session for shipping executives under the age of 40.
This session was organized in collaboration with Young Ship Cyprus and WISTA Cyprus for young shipping professionals and moderated by the Shipping Deputy Minister to the President Mr. Vassilios Demetriades. Within the framework of creating the necessary environment for young people to be included in, and inspired by, maritime affairs, seek jobs within the industry and provide them with future career development, the session is a forum for young shipping professionals to debate career related shipping issues and discuss their vision of the industry, opportunities and challenges that stimulate and affect them.
More information: ELNAVI,
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