A new regional centre, which will provide leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships, has been launched at Shanghai Maritime University, China (15 May).
The centre will cater to the needs of the Asia region under the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) Network (GMN) – a project funded by the European Union
(EU) and run by International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The GMN initiative unites carefully selected technology centres into a global network focused on supporting developing countries in activities including development of national energy-efficiency policies for their maritime sectors.
The MTCC-Asia centre was officially opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and He Jianzhong, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Transport, China and Chen Yin, Vice Mayor of Shanghai Municipal Government.
Ms. Vicky Pollard, First Counsellor- Environment and Climate Change, Delegation of the European Union to China and Mongolia, represented the EU. The launch event was also witnessed by Xu Ruqing, Director General of China Maritime Safety Administration and Huang Youfang, President of SMU.
Lim said the new MTCCs in the GMN network would form part of IMO’s two-pronged approach to addressing GHG emissions from international shipping.
“I see our regulatory work and our capacity-building initiatives as a double-headed assault on the problem of shipping emissions. Together, they send a clear signal about how seriously this Organization treats this issue, how determined it is to address it, and how prepared we are to roll up our sleeves and take practical measures to do so,” Lim said.
Ms. Pollard said that tackling climate change and implementing Paris agreement commitments were a top priority for EU-China cooperation.
"We are delighted to be supporting the IMO to set up this new Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre in Shanghai, so that together we can support Least Developed Countries in the region to limit greenhouse gas emissions from their maritime shipping sector, and to reap the wider benefits this will bring in terms of reduced costs, jobs and sustainable development,” she said.
Also present at the launch was IMO’s Jose Matheickal, who outlined the GMN project aims. The launch event was held alongside an International Maritime Forum, attended by SMU students, officials and representatives of the maritime industry in China.
Secretary-General Lim spoke to the forum about IMO’s role in ensuring that shipping continues to make its contribution to the global economy, while ensuring its sustainability in a world which demands that its services and activities are increasingly safe, green and clean.
SMU is a multi-disciplinary, maritime-specific university that encompasses such areas as engineering, management, economics, law, arts and sciences. Since 2010, SMU has specialised in researching technology
related to ships’ energy efficiency and controlling GHG emissions. The Asian MTCC will have two offices in Shanghai. The MTCC-Asia forms
a network with centres in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific.