The Maritime Just Transition Task Force has put forth a ten-point action plan recommending the need to strengthen global training standards, establish advisory national maritime skills councils, and ensure a safety-first approach for a “just transition” to net zero.
The plan, launched at this November’s COP27 in Egypt, is in response to a DNV study that estimates some 800,000 seafarers will require additional training in the coming decade to stay abreast of the new fuels and technologies driving the industry’s decarbonisation efforts.
Shipping currently accounts for 3% of global emissions and needs to transition away from conventional fuels towards low- or zero-carbon alternatives and technologies in order to meet the world’s target of keeping global warming to 1.5oC or less by 2050.
The three emission reduction scenarios assessed in the study highlight an immediate need to start putting the training infrastructure in place, to ensure hundreds of thousands of the world’s nearly two million seafarers are upskilled and empowered through the transition.
The study also suggests that a lack of certainty on alternative fuel options is having knock-on effects for seafarer training, as the global maritime community works towards a clearer decarbonisation pathway in a post-fossil fuel era.
The DNV study was commissioned by the Maritime Just Transition Task Force, which was established a year ago at COP26 in Glasgow, with Anglo-Eastern as a project partner, to ensure shipping’s response to decarbonisation puts seafarers and communities at the heart of the solution.
In broad terms, the recommendations revolve around:
- Strengthening global training standards
- Ensuring a health-and-safety-first approach
- Establishing advisory national maritime skills councils
“Seafarers are eager to learn and participate in our industry’s decarbonisation journey to net zero, and are inspired to leave a better planet for future generations. Training and education are the necessary tools to enable that,” said chief executive officer Bjorn Hojgaard.
“At Anglo-Eastern, we have always supported and promoted the tenet of lifelong learning to keep our seafarers current, relevant, and well-placed to be the best they can be. This philosophy becomes ever more imperative, with the onset of alternative fuels and new technologies.
As an industry, we must equip our seafarers with the knowledge to perform their jobs during the transition, and in doing so, drive our collective decarbonisation efforts. And as a member of the Maritime Just Transition Task Force’s Global Industry Peer Learning Group, it is our responsibility to lead by example.”