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Maritime industry key to driving global sustainability agenda

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Jonathon Porritt

Abu Dhabi, March 5, 2012: Environmentally sustainable practices in the maritime industry are critical to driving the global agenda on sustainability, industry experts have said ahead of the second edition of the World Ports and Trade Summit (WPTS) 2012. WPTS 2012 is being held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The year 2012 marks 20 years since the Rio Earth Summit, which created the concept of sustainable development, and 40 years since the first United Nations Conference on Human Environment in 1972. It is estimated that nearly 80 per cent of global trade by volume is currently transported by sea. One in every 30 tonnes of CO2 generated by human activity today comes from a ship. The industry’s relentless growth looks set to continue over the coming decades with rising population and living standards.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development later this year is expected to discuss green economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development. The World Ports and Trade Summit (WPTS) will see the attendance of several industry leaders driving this change participate in a series of debates and panel discussions, including the regional agenda for “sustainable maritime development.”

“Sustainable maritime practices are central to the debate on global sustainable development. The vast majority of global trade is today carried out using ships that carry fuel, raw materials and finished goods between continents. The official CO2 figures for 2010 tell us that overall emissions increased by six per cent, at a time when half the world’s economies were flat-lining in terms of economic growth. With unpredictable fuel price spikes, changing customer demands, many in the shipping industry are starting to recognize that Sustainability goes hand in hand with commercial success, ” said Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future, a leading United Kingdom-based charity that works with public and private sector entities to adopt and accelerate change to sustainable ways of business.

Porritt, who is one of the keynote speakers at WPTS 2012, added: “Traditionally, improvements in the environmental performance of shipping have been driven largely by regulatory responses to high profile incidents.  However, in recent years the industry has started to take a more proactive stance.  Northern European shipping had previously led the way in sustainable shipping, but again, this is changing.  Over the last few years, we’re seeing Asia start to take up the banner of sustainability, as major shipping companies, ship builders, and countries such as China taking an active interest in the commercial opportunities arising from building and operating cleaner, more efficient fleets.

“WPTS can be a great platform to support sustainable maritime practices, especially in the region, by bringing together representatives from companies and organizations in big economic sectors and those who directly impact the business of shipping, ” Porritt added.

Worldwide there is a greater adoption of low sulphur fuels and cold ironing – wherein ships turn off their engines – as means of reducing overall emission levels. The United States and Europe are leading the trend in such measures. However, there is an opportunity for emerging ports to incorporate sustainability into their maritime infrastructure by addressing challenges at the inception stage.

Khalifa Port, which opens this year in Abu Dhabi, will include a breakwater to protect coral reefs in the Emirate and an offshore port with rail link to reduce emissions arising from use of road transport after goods are unloaded from ships. It also has the capacity to supply electric power to ships from the shore. Other green features include:

  • Electric powered automatic stacking cranes
  • Diesel electric straddle carriers which give lower consumption than diesel hydraulic models
  • All port cranes designed to deliver power back to the network while lowering the loads
  • Future full automation possible with full electric machines

WPTS 2012 is scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi from April 2-4. Jointly organised by Turret Media and Seatrade, The World Ports & Trade Summit is sponsored by Bechtel, DNV, Emirates Aluminium (emal), Union National Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and supported by: Abu Dhabi Terminals, Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi Chamber, UNIDO and The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).

For more information on World Ports & Trade Summit 2012, please log on to www.worldportsandtrade.com

About Abu Dhabi Ports Company

Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) is a master developer and regulator of ports and industrial zones.

ADPC’s core objective is to facilitate the diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy by acting as an enabler for development and trade. It will achieve this by managing commercial ports throughout the Emirate, supporting partners with their infrastructure projects and setting up new companies and joint ventures with partners who service and operate in the ports and industrial zones sector.

ADPC was created in 2006 as part of the restructuring of the commercial ports sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and given control and regulatory enforcement power over all commercial port assets previously owned by the Abu Dhabi Seaports Authority.

ADPC strives to be at the forefront of progress in industrial logistics and infrastructure and is currently focused on creating one of the world’s largest concentrations of industry at Kizad. www.adpc.ae

About Kizad

Kizad is a 417 sq km industrial zone strategically located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. With one of the world’s most advanced deepwater seaports and world-class infrastructure, Kizad will benefit from excellent multimodal connectivity via sea, air, road and rail networks to ensure easy accessibility to and from the Industrial Zone. Phase 1, which is 51 sq km is set to open in Q4 2012.

Kizad is a cornerstone of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 which also highlights the drive to diversification of the economy in pursuit of sustainable growth less dependent on the oil and gas industries. By 2030, Kizad will be expected to contribute up to 15% of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP.


About Turret Media
Located in Abu Dhabi, Turret Media FZ LLC has launched and helped develop some of the most successful live events in the world, including the World Future Energy Summit, Gastech and the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC).

Turret Media’s exhibitions and conferences annually represent more than 1, 400 exhibitors and deliver more than 120, 000 visitors in industry sectors as diverse as renewable energy, gourmet food and information technology

Find us at www.turretme.com

About Seatrade
has been leading the way in comprehensive global maritime communication for over 40 years. Its publications, events, management training, award schemes and websites cover every aspect of cruise and maritime activity and are known and respected around the globe.

Seatrade’s headquarters are based in the UK, with regional offices in Dubai, Singapore, as well as representatives in all major maritime centres and cruise destinations across the globe.

Find us at www.seatrade-global.com

For more information, please contact: Sameh Hamtini/Nitin Nambiar, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, Tel: +971 2 6334133 – Email: s.hamtini@asdaa.com /n.nambiar@asdaa.com


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