WMU Contributes to Decarbonization Discussions at Euromed

On 8 October, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU), participated in a panel discussion on “The Decarbonisation of the European Maritime Industry: Challenges and Prospects” at the XXIV Euro-Med Convention from Land to Sea, held in Valencia, Spain.

Shipping is the backbone of international trade with more than 80% of cargo by volume and 70% by value, and it is the most energy efficient mode of transportation. President Doumbia-Henry remarked that the maritime industry is likely standing at the start of one of its greatest technological challenges, as it prepares to transition to a zero and low-emission industry through the adoption of technological innovations. 

The IMO has already committed the international maritime community to reducing the total annual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, and is pursuing efforts towards phasing them out by the end of this century. Dr Doumbia-Henry emphasized that decarbonizing the maritime industry will need to address ships as well as ports and that cooperation is key in tackling worldwide problems such as climate change, particularly in such an international domain as the maritime industry. She referred to the important role of women in the decarbonization of shipping.

President Doumbia-Henry highlighted the work of WMU in advancing research, contributing to education and ensuring that capacities are built worldwide for sustainable energy technologies in the maritime sector. WMU has an important teaching and research role to play with an educational stream on Maritime Energy Management (MEM) that is a direct and effective mechanism for addressing GHG emissions. WMU is strongly committed to UN SDG 13 focused on climate change and works to support the achievement of sustainable and energy-efficient maritime and ocean industries.

Since 2016, WMU has offered an MEM specialization within its Master of Science in Maritime Affairs programme. In 2018, WMU launched a new postgraduate diploma programme in MEM by distance learning. To date, 62 maritime professionals from 31 different developing countries have graduated from the MSc programme in MEM, thereby ensuring the building of expertise particularly for developing countries. To date, 34 out of 62 WMU graduates who have specialized in the MEM are from Africa. 

President Doumbia-Henry emphasized that WMU graduates return to their home countries with the knowledge to be able to support their ministries and institutions to understand and to take action to implement the relevant instruments of the IMO. In this way, they are able to participate in the global effort towards zero and low-emissions technologies being deployed in international shipping.

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