Admiral. Ossama Rabiee, the Chairman and Managing Director of the Suez Canal Authority, attended today, Friday, the event of the panel discussion organized by the authority in the Green Zone under the title "The Leading Role of the Suez Canal in Maintaining the Sustainability of the Global Green Supply Chains " within the activities of the United Nations Climate Conference COP27, in the presence of a distinguished audience from the active stakeholders in the maritime transport industry locally, regionally, and globally, and representatives of the most prominent bodies, institutions, commercial and maritime companies, and international shipping lines.
Adm. Ossama Rabiee along with a number of the key stakeholders and decision-makers in the global maritime industry and big shipping lines including Mr. Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Director of Marine Environment Division, International Maritime Organization (IMO), Mr. Martin Bo Christiansen, Vice President, Head of Decarbonization, A.P. Moller-Maersk, and Mr. Georgios Plevrakis, Vice President of Global Sustainability, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). The panel discussion was moderated by the international lawyer Mr. Khaled Abu-Bakr, the media figure and the legal advisor to the SCA.
The events of the panel discussion commenced by displaying a documentary highlighting the efforts exerted by the SCA in endorsing green practices and transition towards the green.
Then the audience listened to a recorded statement by Mr. Kitack Lim, the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization "IMO" in which he started by conveying due thanks to the SCA for organizing this distinguished panel discussion paving the way to shed the light on the pivotal role played by the Suez Canal Authority in maintaining the sustainability of the green supply chains considering it as one of the most prominent active institutions in the maritime shipping industry.
The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization stated that achieving sustainability comes at the forefront of the work agenda of the International Organization, in line with the rules and standards set by the United Nations, which recommend the importance of relying on clean fuels and renewable energy sources, developing technology and enhancing the processes supporting that direction.
The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization stressed that the long-term strategy of the Suez Canal to transform into a green channel will play an important role in promoting the trend towards green transformation in the maritime transport industry, pointing to the importance of the Suez Canal offering its successful experience and expertise to help reduce harmful carbon emissions.
The discussion started with the media figure, Mr. Khaled Abu Bakr, the legal advisor to the Suez Canal Authority, addressing the main topics of the event, which revolve around the main axes, most notably standing on the environmental challenges facing the maritime transport industry, and discussing the leading role of the Suez Canal and the promising opportunities it presents to support the supply chains and global trade movement in an effective and sustainable manner.
Following then, Adm. Rabiee opened the discussion by stressing the role played by the SCA to maintain the stability of the global supply chains and its constant endeavor to maximize its role by adopting an initiative to announce the Suez Canal as the "Green Canal" by 2030.
Adm. Rabiee highlighted that Suez Canal has contributed to decreasing the co2 emissions by 31 million tons in 2021 when compared to the alternative routes, saving fuel by 10.3 million tons, as well as contributing to saving 53 million tons of the co2 equivalents.
The Authority's chairman pointed to the strategy adopted by the SCA, which puts the environmental dimension at the forefront of its priorities, which goes in line with the Egyptian state’s directions to achieve sustainable development through a clean, eco-friendly economy, as well as the efforts of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce emissions from the shipping sector, and encourage the trend towards running on clean, carbon-neutral fuels instead of fossil fuels.
He added that the Suez Canal has taken multiple measures as part of its strategy to announce the Suez Canal as the Green Canal, where the authority has already started developing 16 traffic monitoring stations along the waterway to run on hybrid energy of solar and wind energy instead of regular energy, and the authority is also working to convert the authority's fleet of cars to work with natural gas instead of fossil fuels. He also revealed that an agreement with an international company specialized in collecting and recycling solid and liquid waste from ships transiting the Suez Canal is about to be reached.
Then, Mr. Guy Platten, Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), spoke about the importance of concerted efforts of all parties concerned in the maritime transport industry to tackle the challenges faced by the industry, especially the environmental challenges, stressing that green initiatives are an essential step to achieve the desired goals and reach a better world, appreciating the efforts of the authority to promote the trend towards sustainable, eco-friendly policies, and to turn the Suez Canal into a center for green maritime transport in the future.
Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Director of the Marine Environment Division, International Maritime Organization (IMO), stressed the importance of supporting the member states as well as their cooperation to face the environmental challenges pointing out that multiple recommendations will be presented to decrease carbon emissions by the end of the current year.
The Director of the Marine Environment Division at the IMO highlighted that the Organization adopted an ambitious strategy to decrease carbon emissions since 2018 which has been responded to by a number of organizations and institutions working in the maritime sector along with different parties, pointing out, in this regard, to the collaboration that took place with the Egyptian state to enhance the use of Green practices and increased reliance on renewable energy.
Mr. Martin Bo Christiansen, Vice President, Head of Decarbonization, A.P. Moller-Maersk, discussed Maersk’s global strategy to build eco-friendly ships, as the company is building 19 eco-friendly ships between 2024 and 2025, which will save 2 million tons of carbon emissions. The first eco-friendly ship will transit the Suez Canal by the next year 2023.
Christiansen pointed out the fruitful cooperation between Maersk International, the Egyptian government, and the Suez Canal Authority, which resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding to hold mega projects that turn Egypt into a center for green energy.
Then, Mr. Georgios Plevrakis, Vice President of Global Sustainability, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), spoke about the interest of the ABS and its undertaking to study the environmental impact of operating ships, in addition to conducting studies on new fuels in order to reduce the impact of carbon dioxide to move towards a clean marine industry, as well as studying the impact of the use of new technology on the human factor.
He pointed out the various discussions presented by ABS in this regard and the smart solutions it presents, especially the search for types of fuels and raising awareness of the importance of green practices and adopting eco-friendly capabilities and operations.