The Cyprus Shipping Chamber coordinated on the opening day of the international Conference “Maritime Cyprus 2023,” 9 October 2023, a panel discussion on the topic “Sustainable Shipping towards 2050: a Mission (Im)Possible?”. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Themis Papadopoulos, President of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, and featured high profile speakers such as Mr. Emanuele Grimaldi, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Mr. Philippos Philis, President of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), Dr. Gaby Bornheim, President of the Verband Deutscher Reeder (VDR), and Mr. Nikolaus H. Schües, President of the Baltic & International Maritime Council (BIMCO).

The “mission” of the Shipping Industry for its energy and technological transition in the absence of alternative compatible fuels and technologies, with a regulatory milestone for complete decarbonisation by 2050, presents a challenge for shipowners and constitutes a complex issue for global Shipping, according to the speakers, emphasising on the need for a clearer policy direction.

Mr. Grimaldi suggested that one way to accelerate the development of affordable low and zero-carbon fuels and technologies is to develop a “fund and reward” mechanism to incentivize shipowners who quickly transition to green technologies and fuels, while it will contribute billions of dollars annually to produce alternative fuels and establish fuel supply infrastructure in developing countries.

Mr. Philis added that the European Commission should address fuel suppliers by introducing specific targets for the availability of low and zero-carbon maritime fuels, thus enhancing the “FuelEU Maritime” initiative, rather than making it the exclusive responsibility of shipowners to achieve climate goals.

Mr. Schües expressed optimism about the industry’s ability to meet challenges and focus on opportunities during this transitional period.

Finally, Dr. Bornheim emphasised the need for a regulatory framework that extends beyond the European Union and is compatible to an international and multifaceted industry such as Shipping.