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Decarbonization roadmap well underway in South Africa maritime – SAMSA

At the MEPC 80 meeting in July 2023, member states of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the 2023 IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships, with enhanced targets to tackle harmful emissions.

This strategy sets ambitious targets for the maritime industry, including a move to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 and significant reductions by 2030 and 2040, emphasizing the shift towards alternative, lower GHG fuels and setting clear benchmarks for emission reductions compared to 2008 levels.

South Africa is a member state of the IMO and as per SAMSA, a Ministerial roundtable for the development of a Maritime Sector Decarbonisation Roadmap marks South Africa’s proactive approach to align with the IMO 2023 GHG Emissions Reduction Strategy.

This key meeting in Newlands, Cape Town was led by DoT and SAMSA, and as per SAMSA, “the Ministerial roundtable on the development of a Maritime Sector Decarbonisation Roadmap is South Africa’s latest tacit response and contribution towards pursuit for fulfilment of its commitment to implementation of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2023 Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships.

There are concerns however that

  1. South Africa is yet to develop its own roadmap for achieving the vision and targets aimed at decarbonizing shipping and
  2. South Africa is yet to finalize the process of legislation to align with the IMO’s GHG strategy for shipping decarbonization and specifically to enforce the Energy Efficiency requirements outlined in Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention.

The recent roundtable aimed to start developing South Africa’s maritime climate strategy, focusing on clean fuels, green corridors, and the economic impacts of emissions reduction.

The recent roundtable which discussed maritime decarbonization strategies was led by Transport Minister Ms. Sindisiwe Chikunga, and included stakeholders from SAMSA leadership, representatives of the IMO (World Maritime University), South Africa ship owners and operators, Transnet National Ports Authority and representatives and associated experts from the mining, environmental, energy, education, and training industries.

Also in attendance were around 30 officials from various South African public institutions and private maritime sector companies who had participated in an executive professional development training course on Maritime Energy Management and Decarbonisation conducted by the World Maritime University.

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