WMU Contributes to MTCC-Africa Workshop on the Role of Women in Decarbonization

Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU), delivered a keynote address at the MTCC-Africa Workshop on the Role of Women in Decarbonization that was held virtually on 29 October. The workshop focussed on climate change mitigation in the maritime and shipping industry, taking into account the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Agenda and Goals (UN SDGs) and in particular Goal 5 on gender equality. 

In her remarks, President Doumbia-Henry highlighted that gender equality is fundamental to ensure the achievement of an efficient and effective transition to a low-carbon economy. “Decarbonization requires a complete transformation of society from production to consumption taking into account the global supply chain and the  need for the full participation of all members of society, including women” she said.  

President Doumbia-Henry emphasized the expectation that a huge demand for skills in decarbonization will open up employment opportunities for women who can contribute to their countries reaching the maximum development potential enabling them to collectively contribute to helping achieve the sustainable development goals. She noted the important role WMU plays in providing gender equal opportunities in higher education, training and capacity-building. With respect to decarbonization, WMU offers an innovative and ground-breaking specialization on “Maritime Energy Management” which is offered as a Master of Science (MSc) specialization as well as a Postgraduate Diploma.  

The anthropogenic (man-made) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are the main cause of global warming and rising temperatures, responsible for climate change, which has resulted in weather pattern changes, increased sea-level rise and more frequent floods. President Doumbia-Henry emphasized that aggressive action must now be taken to reduce and eventually eliminate GHG emissions from international shipping in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change of 2016 and which has been signed by 195 Member States of the United Nations. She noted that International Maritime Organization’s initial GHG strategy has also accelerated the momentum for decarbonization efforts in the shipping industry.

There are several major issues that currently affect maritime trade and transport and will continue to shape them for the foreseeable future. Many of these issues have been brought to the fore in the UN SDGs. Of particular relevance to the maritime and ocean fields are those relating to climate change and the emission of GHG and air pollutants, which are reflected in UN SDG 7 (affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy for all) and UN SDG 13 (take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).


About the MTCCs

Five regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) have been established under the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (GMN) Project, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with a remit to develop and adopt standards for safer, greener and more sustainable shipping. 

Between them, the MTCCs count 97 participating countries and have been working with participating vessels to deliver sets of data which can help inform and support energy efficiency improvement. Port energy audits and retrofitting of domestic vessels for better energy efficiency are just two ways in which results are already being seen.

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