Korea to fund $2.5m IMO emissions reduction training programme

(l-r) IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Korean Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Dr Seong-Hyeok Moon

The Republic of Korea and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have signed an agreement to establish a US$2.5 million training programme to support developing States in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping, including support for capacity building, technical cooperation, technology transfer and research and development (R&D).

The four-year Sustainable Maritime Transport Training Programme (GHG-SMART) will be fully funded by Korea and will aim to assist Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in addressing gaps in their environmental technologies and policies, in line with IMO’s existing Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships.

The IMO strategy envisages reducing total annual GHG emissions from ships by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, meaning a reduction in carbon intensity for individual ships and a move to new technologies and low/zero carbon fuels.

Training packages will be developed to cover a range of activities, including training of trainers to implement specific measures such as data collection, sharing of information and best practices, analysis and review of current policies, and how to develop national action plans.

The training will also facilitate transfer and uptake of energy efficient technologies, filling gaps in technology and policies between developed countries and the LDCs and SIDS.

“If we are to achieve the goals in the initial IMO strategy, then we must ensure that no country is left behind in the transition to carbon-neutral shipping,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

“IMO continues to lead the way with the portfolio of continuously expanding technical cooperation and capacity building projects. This training programme will greatly enhance the implementation of the initial IMO GHG strategy, especially when it comes to building knowledge and capacity in SIDS and LDCs.”

The Programme will be linked to other initiatives like the Global MTTC Network (GMN) project, funded by the European Union, which unites regional Maritime Technologies Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) into a global network; and the GreenVoyage2050 Project, a partnership between Norway and IMO that is working with 12 pilot countries to meet climate change and energy efficiency goals.

Cooperation with the World Maritime University (WMU) for technical input, and IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP), is also planned.

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Rob O'Dwyer

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