WMU Contributes to Zero and Low-Emission Innovation Forum

From 27-29 September, the IMO-UNEP-Norway Zero-and Low-Emission Innovation Forum online/virtual global platform focused on championing innovation to accelerate the transition of the marine sector towards a zero- and low-emission future. Specific needs of developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) were addressed. 

Supported by the Government of Norway, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) the Forum’s intent was to promote innovation by providing a global platform to exchange best practices and fill necessary gaps by gathering ideas and latest developments from all competent international policy makers.  

Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU) presented on the opening day in the session on innovation, deployment and knowledge sharing opportunities with a focus on developing countries. Emphasizing global cooperation as key given the scale and urgency of the global challenge we now face due to climate change, she said the world is entering a new era where reduction and removal of GHGs from international shipping has become a top priority. She highlighted that the maritime industry is standing at the start of one of the greatest technological challenges of our times as it prepares to transition to a zero and low-emission industry through the adoption of technological innovations. 

President Doumbia-Henry noted the work of WMU in advancing research and contributing to education to ensure that capacities are built worldwide for sustainable energy technologies in the maritime sector through the maritime energy management (MEM) stream at WMU that includes an MSc specialization, a postgraduate diploma programme, a research priority area, and key publications. “As we face one of the maritime community’s greatest challenges, we need to take into consideration the big picture and remind ourselves of the need for common strategies. Global research, education and development including common funding mechanisms will be key to the successful development and deployment of zero and low-emission maritime technologies,” said President Doumbia-Henry.

On the second day of the Forum, Dr Aykut Ölcer, WMU Professor and Director of Maritime Research and Head of MEM, presented in the session on successful models of inclusive innovation that foster technology deployment. His remarks focused on addressing maritime decarbonization through education, research and capacity building in MEM and the efforts of WMU in that regard. He emphasized WMU’s holistic approach to MEM taking into consideration regulatory frameworks, energy efficiency, renewable/cleaner energy, technology and innovation, the human element, and the economics of energy management as well as ship life-cycle enteric energy management within ships, onshore facilities and oceans. Highlighting the need to mainstream decarbonization in higher education, he also advocated for educating children about sustainability of our planet from a young age. “We have to invest in future maritime leaders. Technologies are evolving, therefore there is an urgent need for global research education and sharing of experiences. WMU is ready to respond to this, and is striving to play its part,” he said.

WMU is committed to the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda which calls for immediate action on the part of all countries, organizations and individuals to “achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”, and the WMU MEM stream contributes significantly to achieving the objectives of Goal 7 focused on energy and Goal 13 focused on climate change. 

To learn more about Maritime Energy Management at WMU, click here. 

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