United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Ms. Gyorgyi Gurban, Senior Maritime Policy Adviser, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, IMO

Innovative transport solutions to accelerate recovery and support
achievement of SDGs and climate action
Remarks by Ms. Gyorgyi Gurban
Senior Maritime Policy Adviser, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, IMO
Thank you for this opportunity to reflect on the inspiring discussions of the
Panel from the maritime perspective, representing the International Maritime
Organization, which is the UN specialized agency and global regulator of the
world’s merchant shipping industry.
In a direct response to COVID-19, IMO has over the past months been working
closely, in partnership with national governments and the shipping industry to
make sure that global supply chains do not come to an absolute standstill, and
that essential supplies and vital goods continue to reach ports and markets in
developed and developing economies.
COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the absolute necessity of partnerships, which
will be key also for a long-term sustainable recovery, with more collaboration
needed both across the supply chain, between ships and ports, UN Agencies,
especially around specific opportunities offered by digitalization and
We are already witnessing new cooperation initiatives from Denmark to Chile,
bringing together ship owners, ports, airports, logistics and trucking companies
who jointly invest in local renewable hydrogen production that can serve all of
the involved transport modes.
New investments in the large-scale deployment of low-carbon fuel
infrastructure, for instance in port areas, which are modal hubs, can provide
momentum to also speed up decarbonization of other transport sectors.
In relation to LDCs and SIDS, we have seen great potential of building synergies
between merchant shipping and smaller terrestrial energy grids, to support
local renewable generation, energy security and resilience, with battery/fuel
COVID-19 brings a great opportunity to speed transition to using renewable
fuels in transport in a systematic manner and specifically for maritime
transport, to move towards a decarbonized future of shipping in line with the
IMO GHG Strategy and the 2020 World Maritime Day theme “sustainable
shipping for a sustainable planet”
This transition requires however further R&D, with a focus on innovative ship
design and alternative fuels and opportunities offered by digitalization.
It also requires huge investment, particularly in renewable energy
infrastructure development that the maritime industry will not be able to
secure by itself, especially now, with global economy and trade spiraling
downward and priority for many shipowners is to stay in business.
New partnerships will be thus needed more than ever to overcome both the
R&D and investment gap as well.
We are all in this together - from the side of IMO, we are eager to build further
partnerships towards a sustainable future of transport and provide a global
platform to promote R&D in zero carbon marine fuels and bring together the
wider maritime industry, the UN system, private banks, and development
banks and other interested donors to move together in this direction.
Thank you very much.