In December 2015, Paris Agreement was adopted by consensus by all members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to create a CO₂-free global economy. To date, 197 countries have agreed to gradually reduce the use of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions to reach net carbon neutrality by 2050 and keep global warming below 2 °C by the year 2100.
However, the emission reduction target is necessary due to the global warming and the attendant impact on countries around the world especially African countries.
This is because, African countries have been identified as the worst hit continent affected by recent climate change by environmental experts.
To acheive this, stakeholders in the continent’s Marítime sector, at the just concluded 2022 Nigeria Marítime Summit (NIMS), analyse Africa’s readiness to the target, therefore, identified absence of finance, lack of technology as factors that will hinder the actualisation of the zero emission target in the continent by 2050.
According to the stakeholders who spoke during a panel session titled “De-Carbonisation and Greenhouse Emissions in Shipping – Policy and Operational Perspectives from West & Central Africa”, during the NIMS programme, stated that
the litoral African countries still need finance and adequate technology in other to drive the 2050 zero emission deadline of the IMO.
On his part, the director general of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed that two-third of the countries affected by recent climate change are all from Africa, adding that African countries must speak with one voice if the continent desire to achieve the 2050 deadline of the IMO.
According to Jamoh, aside from lack of financing, others include lack of adequate technologies in driving the 2050 agenda.
He, however, informed that the African states are developing a plan for the continent to come together to ensure implementation and achievement of the 2050 deadline.
Also speaking a member of the Nigeria Shipowners Association (NISA), Aminu Umar, lamented the long waiting time for vessels at the port as a factor hindering de-carbonisation and greenhouse emission in the country.
He urged authorities involved to work towards reducing the vessel waiting time at the port.
He explained that the more time a vessel waits at the port, the more carbon she burns, saying shipowners are on a voyage optimisation plan that will ensure usage of cleaner fuel.
Also speaking Barr. Magareth Orakwusi, identified the need to change some of the old vessels that still plys the waterways, she said “We need to change some of our old vessels that are consuming fuel”.
Orakwusi added that there is need for proper monitoring of ocean going vessels that arrive the port if it meet the specification required by IMO.
“We do not have ocean going vessels, so when some of these vessels arrived at our ports there should be proper monitoring of the AGO used,” she said.
The chief executive Officer, Tunisian Shipping Company, Dr. Immed Zammit, also emphasized that many of the ships in Africa are very old and there is need for huge investment to acquire ships that are green house friendly.
He urged the IMO Secretary General to assist in the area of finance and technology.
The Chairman of NIMS, Barr. Mfon Usoro, that the NIMS summit which focused on greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonization in shipping was at the most auspicious time.
She explained that the summit held at a time when global attention is concentrated on the preservation of the planet and all its life forms through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions including from ships particularly ships engaged in international voyages as evidenced in the just concluded COP 27 hosted by Egypt.
Usoro noted that the Summit offers a rich menu that covers decarbonization in shipping and greenhouse gas emissions, the available alternatives during the maritime transition period to zero-sulphur fuel, harnessing the wealth of the waters and financing maritime assets.
Speaking earlier the Secretary General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, disclosed that decarbonisation is one of the challenges of the present 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.