1st Foresight Maritime Dialogue took place at Georgetown University

The 1st Foresight Maritime Dialogue took place on March 5th, 2024 at Georgetown University, attended by ship managers, diplomats, researchers, lawyers, policy shapers and students. CommonLawgic hosted the event and welcomed a high-level audience at the Georgetown campus. Mrs. Yanna Pavlopoulou, GU LLM’89 as President and Founder, and
Mr. Evangelos Maltezos, as Managing Partner, and Technical Director of Hellenic Star Shipping Co.

Dr Spiros Dimolitsas, Senior Vice President for Research & CTO, of Georgetown University (GU), welcomed the distinguished guests, in the historic RIGGS Library at Georgetown University, built in 1890, with a generous gift from the Riggs’ family.
The RIGGS Bank in 1867 financed the purchase of Alaska Territory from the Russians, an important act for American sovereignty.

Dr Dimolitsas invited to the podium Mrs. Semiramis Paliou, CEO of DIANA SHIPPING INC., and Chairperson of HELMEPA and INTERMEPA, for the Opening Remarks. Mrs. Paliou talked about the strategic importance of shipping as the world’s largest and most efficient means of transportation for the global trade and the US. Greek-owned vessels comprise more than 20% of the world’s fleet and control over 31% of the tanker fleet, 25% of the dry bulk fleet, and 22% of the LNG fleet. She highlighted the industry’s sustainability concerns and that they responsibly respond to new regulations. It is anticipated that the EU Emissions Trading System will be imitated by other countries around the world, unless the IMO, steps up, with ambitious measures in 2027 to adopt uniform and global regulations to measure and price emissions.

HELMEPA and its sister organizations under the INTERMEPA mbrella serve as open platforms for collaboration, exchange of best practices, and tools for promoting the transformation of our industry into a more sustainable one. Of special focus were the HELMEPA’s latest achievement named METAVASEA upskilling training of 1500 seafarers, and climate awareness engagement of the young generation on People-Centred Transition for Maritime Decarbonization in the East Mediterranean.

Mrs. Yanna Pavlopoulou, GU LLM’89, introduced the panelists and the audience, and welcomed the HELMEPA delegates in DC. She then set the framework of the discussion, with her Research notes. The Greek-owned merchant fleet is 5.520 vessels and represent 21% of the 25,000 high seas commercial carriers worldwide and 52% of the EU fleet. The discussion participants operate 790 ocean-going vessels. Eight shipping companies were publicly listed and their fleets total 685 vessels. The rest represented Small-Medium Enterprises managing 105 ships.

Greek shipowners managed to excel for centuries and serve the global trade, as strong players in a capital intensive and perfectly competitive international arena, being SME family businesses.

Ocean commercial shipping is the cheapest and safest means of transportation of 90% of cargoes globally. Therefore, it needs to be regulated by global rules, set by the United Nations International Maritime Organization (UN IMO). Regional regulations distort fair competition and free trade.
It would be to the interest to of the American consumer that Greeks remain competitive against the growing power of China. In Europe, the EU ETS – Emissions Trading Scheme came into effect from 1/1/24, imposing on the maritime trade, mandatory purchase of Carbon Allowances.
Shipowners are liable to collect from the charterer, in advance respective Carbon Allowances to cap and trade in a European Carbon Exchange Market (that means that ship managers will need traders to watch volatility and fluctuation of carbon price, hedging risk etc.). There is a penalty of 100€ per carbon ton, not surrendered.

The Green Transition funds collected are shared by 75% to EU Member States and by 25% to an Innovation Fund for Research. ETS funds are collected by Member States and redirected to EU nationals, for reforestations or social aid for energy consumption. 1Revenue from the inclusion of the maritime sector in the EU ETS could reach €11 billion in 2026. Although, neither fuels, nor engines are available, shipowners and shippers will have to comply with complicated rules that require extra in-house and outsourced workload, while there is a high risk that SMEs charterers could not pay on time (despite charterparty clauses). There’s a saying that «When America innovates, China replicates, and Europe legislates». Europe is constantly a pioneer in unilaterally regulating innovation and entrepreneurship, imposing ETS in 2003 and China followed in 2021 while USA has only voluntary Carbon Mechanisms.

Find the respective pdf here.

Or read more in the GreekNewsUSA. com mention.


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