Inaugural WMU Summer Institute Focuses on Maritime Decarbonization

On 22 August, the World Maritime University (WMU) launched the inaugural WMU Summer Institute with a week-long intensive programme on Maritime Decarbonization. A total of 35 maritime professionals from 20 different countries and five continents spent the week learning about and discussing the opportunities and challenges surrounding the reduction of GHG emissions from shipping. 

Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President, welcomed the participants noting that the maritime industry is at the beginning of one of its greatest economic and operational transformations as it begins to transition to zero greenhouse gas emissions. “This Summer Institute on Maritime Decarbonization is a unique opportunity to discuss and learn together, in an international academic environment, regarding how this important transition to a zero emission future can be achieved globally,“ she said. 

The philosophy behind the WMU Summer Institute on Maritime Decarbonization is that the inevitable maritime energy transition is an opportunity for the industry. Maritime transport is an essential pillar for world trade, carrying over 80% of international merchandise by volume and emitting around 3% of global anthropogenic emissions. The maritime industry inherently offers the lowest GHG emissions and energy consumption per transport mode, and has a wide range of technical possibilities for energy saving and replacement of fossil energy with sustainable options. Maritime transport also has great opportunities for adopting carbon free energy sources given the dimensions of commercial vessels, and that vast renewable energy resources are available on the world’s oceans.

Delivered by a team of WMU faculty and researchers, the Summer Institute incorporates a holistic approach to maritime decarbonization by looking at regulatory, social, environmental, technological and economic challenges. In the unique international setting provided by WMU, through a combination of lectures and participant interaction, the course highlights the complexity of the issues surrounding decarbonization of shipping while looking for solutions. Content includes fundamental international regulations, technical aspects of ship design, future energy technologies including wind and solar power, and looks at the economic mechanisms that determine to a large extent the plausible pathways for decarbonization in the context of supply chain and financing. 

The Summer Institute on Maritime Decarbonization supports WMU’s commitment to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, in particular Goal 7 focused on affordable and clean energy and Goal 13 focused on climate action. Through cutting-edge education and research in the Maritime Energy Management (MEM) field, WMU works to support the achievement of sustainable, zero/low-carbon and energy-efficient maritime and ocean industries. WMU’s MEM educational offerings include the groundbreaking MEM MSc specialization that was introduced in 2015, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Maritime Energy delivered by distance learning. WMU’s Maritime Energy Management Research Priority Area focuses on the fundamental understanding of energy in a maritime context and the application of evidence-based knowledge across the field from ships to ports, and from oceans to shipyards, to ensure the cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly use of resources. The book Trends and Challenges in Maritime Energy Management, was published in 2018 as an outcome of the International Conference on Maritime Energy Management (MARENER 2017) hosted at WMU in 2017. It was one of the most downloaded books in its category in 2018.

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