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Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the IMO participates in high-level IMO panel at COP26

On 9 November, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the IMO, Eng. Essam Al Ammari participated in a high-level panel at COP26 in Glasgow. Also in attendance were the Secretary General of the IMO, Mr. Kitack Lim, and Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, HE Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama. The panel focused on the IMO’s response to decarbonisation through concerted international action and the need for decarbonisation to be addressed fairly and equitably across all member states.

Secretary General Kitack Lim opened the panel and spoke of the IMO’s mission, its objectives and recent developments. Mr. Lim also acknowledged the IMO’s commitment to combating climate change, saying, “here at COP26 we see many people all bound by one common cause, to address climate change. We take this opportunity to showcase the maritime community’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The shipping decarbonisation journey is already underway”.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Bainimarama highlighted the unequal impact that will be experienced due to climate change, particularly for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Additionally, he pointed to the key part that the maritime industry can play in decarbonisation efforts globally, as part of the wider effort to combat climate change. In an optimistic conclusion the Prime Minister stated, “if history is any guide, we know that our ability to innovate means that even the greatest challenges can be overcome”.

Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative, Eng. Al Ammari reflected the comments made by Mr. Lim, stressing the importance of the IMO as the regulatory body for international shipping as well as the necessity of a fair and equitable transition to low and zero emissions technologies, which are vital in ensuring no countries are left behind. Eng. Al Ammari also emphasised the significant investments that The Kingdom is providing for low and zero emission fuel sources as it seeks to become a global leader in advanced and innovative alternative fuel technologies and the potential opportunities this presents for both the Kingdom and maritime industry. Saudi Arabia’s active involvement in the IMO was also discussed, including The Kingdom’s recent pledge of $401,150 for the development of the foundation IMO CARES project which will support the unification of global maritime decarbonisation efforts through international collaboration.

In conclusion, the event was seen as an important opportunity for IMO member states and stakeholders to address climate concerns and how decarbonisation in the maritime industry can be best addressed in the future, an integral component of the upcoming MEPC 77 meeting which will be held between the 22 – 26 November 2021.

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