The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) have launched the NextGEN portal, an online collaborative global ecosystem of maritime transport decarbonisation initiatives.

The NextGEN portal was launched on 27 September during the IMO-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-Norway Zero-and Low-Emission Innovation Forum. The three-day online global platform is aimed at promoting innovation to accelerate the maritime sector’s transition to a zero or low-emission future. 

The portal aims to encourage “information-sharing, create critical networks and opportunities for collaboration, and facilitate capacity-building. By showcasing the universe of maritime decarbonisation projects on a single platform, the NextGEN portal will serve as a focal point and reference tool for both public and private stakeholders,” according to the MPA.

The NextGEN portal encompasses over 140 projects spanning over 500 partners, 13 fuel types, and a diversity of regions including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands.

NextGEN project was introduced last year by the IMO and MPA to spotlight collaborative projects which support maritime decarbonisation across the industry.

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“No one can tackle decarbonisation alone. It needs to be a global collective effort whereby we need to work together, across borders and sectors, to build capacity, share best practices and ensure a level playing field for all. By bringing ideas and stakeholders together, NextGEN builds on the key principle of inclusivity,”  Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, MPA, said.

“The single biggest challenge we face is the battle against global warming and climate change. We need more collaborative action to speed up research into emission-cutting technology in the maritime sector and into zero- and low-carbon marine fuels. Above all, we need to make sure we leave no one behind,” Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO, commented.

In 2018, the IMO adopted the Initial IMO Greenhouse (GHG) Strategy, which seeks to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008.

Recognising that the industry faces challenges reaching the ambitious decarbonisation targets with the current levels of technological development in low and zero-carbon fuels, NextGEN was conceptualised as an initiative “to support the maritime sector’s push towards the ‘next generation’ of low and zero-carbon fuels and technologies to meet the goals of the Initial Strategy.”

The announcement comes a day after MPA revealed that it has partnered up with the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) and the Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS) to support the development of capabilities in carbon accounting among maritime companies in Singapore.

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