• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Africa needs funding to meet 2050 zero emission target – Experts

Africa needs funding to meet 2050 zero emission target – Experts

For Africa to meet the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) target to cut down on the carbon intensity of international shipping to 70 percent by 2050 there is a need for developed nations to give funding to African nations, experts have said.

According to experts, who spoke on Monday in Lagos during the opening of a 2-day Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) with the theme, ‘Igniting the blue economy,’ such funding would help to drive investments in technology, newer ships, and other infrastructure that would help to cut down on carbon emission.

Kitack Lim, the secretary general of the IMO, while delivering the keynote speech, said that decarbonisation is one of the challenges of our time owing to the fact that climate change has started having its impact on developing nations.

According to him, maritime nations need financing to invest in refining fossil fuels and acquiring technology like modern ships.

While pointing out that decarbonisation and automation are critical to shaping the future, Lim said that IMO has set the target of cutting down emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 and 70 percent by 2050 across international shipping.

Declaring the summit open, Mu’azu Sambo, the minister of transportation, said that finance is a critical driver for unlocking the potential of the blue economy in Africa and Nigeria in particular.

According to him, sustainable financing models are needed to build critical maritime assets such as shipyards and ports across the country.

Sambo pointed out the need to reshape the way the shipping industry operates in the face of changing climate and the need for rapid decarbonisation by 2050.

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He said Nigeria’s commitment to the sustainability of the blue economy is demonstrated by the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking during a panel session with the theme, ‘Decarbonisation and greenhouse gas emissions in shipping – regional policy and operational perspectives,’ Aminu Umar, managing director, Sea Transport Group, pointed out that port efficiency is critical to cutting down fuel consumption at ports.

He, however, said there is a need to cut down on the waiting time of vessels in Nigerian ports because longer waiting time at ports results in high fuel consumption in shipping.

Citing an example with European and American Ports, Umar said that European and American Ports have regulations that drive the transition to cleaner fuel.

He said the rules in these ports require vessels calling at their ports to switch from high sulphur fuels to low sulphur fuel on reaching particular nautical miles to their ports.

To meet the decarbonisation plan, he said, ship owners have devised a voyage optimisation plan that mandates ships to adjust their speed limit because higher speed leads to increased fuel consumption.

Bashir Jamoh, the director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said that half of the countries identified as those being affected by climate change are in Africa.

According to him, financing is required to make the needed investment in technology that would enable Africa to meet zero-emission targets in shipping

Jamoh disclosed that plans are underway for Nigeria to play a leading role in ensuring that Africa meets the 2050 zero emission target, adding that there is a need to develop skill within the African shipping industry.

He advised African nations to come together to speak with one voice in order to encourage developed nations in giving funding support needed to achieve the 2050 target.

Immed Zammit, chief executive of Tunisian Shipping Company, who spoke via zoom, said that ships owned by African shipping companies are usually very old and that it takes a huge investment to meet the IMO 2050 target.

He called on the IMO to help African countries to be up to speed with the technological advancement required to meet the IMO target.