A new action plan, launched at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt by United Nations organizations, ship-owners and unions, sets out recommendations to up skill seafarers to meet shipping’s decarbonization goals.
The plan is in response to findings from new research, the modeling of which cautions that as many as 800,000 seafarers will require additional training by the mid-2030s. The research comes at a time when many seafarers are concerned about safety aspects of potential future fuels such as ammonia.
Findings also suggest that a lack of certainty on alternative fuel options is having knock-on effects for seafarer training, as the global maritime community works towards a clearer decarbonization path in a post-fossil fuel era.
The research was conducted by DNV (Det Norske Veritas) and commissioned by the Maritime Just Transition Task Force, an organization established at COP26 in Glasgow last year.
Sanda Ojiambo, CEO of the UN Global Compact, said that the action-plan represents a global first with shipping becoming the first business sector uniting in a tripartite framework – ship-owners, seafarers’ unions and UN organizations – to discuss how to secure a fair transition together.
Guy Platten, the secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping, said: “There is an urgent need to establish the infrastructure and training required to prepare our seafaring workforce, both in developed and developing countries, to help meet our decarbonization objectives.
This should be done as of today, so they are ready and able to meet the challenges that new green fuels and propulsion technologies will pose and mitigate any potential health and safety risks for ships, communities, the environment and seafarers themselves.
”This is an opportunity for all so that no-one is left behind. Shipping cannot decarbonize without its workers and the 10-point action plan developed by the task force maps out a pathway for how this can be achieved, as our industry continues to navigate towards a decarbonize future.”