Brussels, 14 January 2023  

On the 14th of January, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) organised in Abu Dhabi a high-level ministerial roundtable, named “Decarbonising Shipping: The Role of Ports in Addressing Supply, Demand and Trade of Renewable-Based Fuels”, to discuss how to ensure the supply of renewable-based maritime fuels and how to create a legislative framework to facilitate the trade and transport of these fuels.

Representatives of the maritime shipping industry and governments participated to the roundtable, that has served as a platform for ministers to discuss and share their national level strategies and plans for decarbonising the shipping sector.

IRENA’s Director General, Francesco La Camera, highlighted the crucial role that hydrogen-based fuels can play in the successful decarbonisation of the shipping industry. Also, he stated that "The decarbonisation of this sector needs to have a collaborative approach, involving the global shipping industry, governments, and international organisations. The time to act is now and IRENA is ready to play its part and support our membership to materialise ambition into action”.  

During the roundtable was also discussed the role of ports in creating the necessary conditions to accelerate the demand for these fuels. As regards governments, they will need to play an instrumental role in decarbonising ports by investing in cleaner technologies. 

Tom HauteKiet, Chief Commercial Officer, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said 80% of the investment needed to realise the green energy transition in shipping will have to be made on the landside of shipping and that affects ports too. "One-way ports can impact the green shipping movement is by investing in decarbonising their own fleet of services and operational vessels", he added.