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With the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) just a fortnight away, Yara Marine Technologies CEO Thomas Koniordos has called on the shipping industry to answer the ‘Save Our Planet – SOP’ distress signal and move rapidly on decarbonisation.

As previously reported, more than 150 maritime companies and organisations – including Yara – last month signed a ‘Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonisation'; which is urging governments to ‘deliver the policies that will supercharge the transition and make zero emission shipping the default choice by 2030’.

In an open letter sent to Bunkerspot and posted on Yara's website today (18 October), Koniordos reiterated: ‘We stand firmly behind this call to action and urge the whole industry to follow and move rapidly on decarbonisation. The time to act is now. Our planet is in distress.’

Koniordos continued: ‘Our industry has the skillset to create new solutions and the drive to see them through. Now, we at Yara Marine Technologies reinforce our commitment and stand ready to help the industry achieve the necessary green transition. If we all work together towards this common goal, we can cut emissions and strengthen the industry at the same time.

'Save Our Planet – SOP – is a new distress signal made to highlight our shared urgency, to encourage the maritime industry and all its stakeholders to face this challenge without further delay, and to inspire us all to embrace this opportunity for change, collaboration, and innovation.’

Koniordos said that Yara will ‘light the beacon’, but it needs other the maritime community to ‘pass it forward’.

‘Endorse this movement and help us broadcast SOP by creating your own version of the distress signal, and by using the hashtags #SOP and #SaveOurPlanet,’ said Koniordos. ‘Together, we can be the change our industry needs, and ensure a healthy planet for future generations.’

COP26 will be taking place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November. Alongside the main conference itself, there will also be a number of side-bar maritime-themed events. Petrospot, the publisher of Bunkerspot, will be running its own COP26-related event in Glasgow – for which more details will be available in due course on the www.petrospot.com website.

Amongst the other events, the Malin Group will be using its South Rotunda headquarters on Glasgow’s Govan Road to host three ‘Spotlight’ seminars on offshore wind, the blue economy and – of most relevance to maritime players – zero emission shipping. Run in association with Zero Emission Ship Technology Association (ZESTAs), the three-day event will aim to help ‘chart a course to true zero emissions for trans-oceanic shipping’. The plan is to come up with a ‘collaborative and interactive navigational chart’ that can be ‘shared with COP26 delegates, shipping and energy industry stakeholders as well as being delivered to the IMO, in both written report and film formats’.

The speakers at the Ship Zero event will include Sveinung Oftedal, chair of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) intersessional working group on greenhouse gases, who will speak about the outcomes of Marine Environment Protection Committee ‘s (MEPC) 76th meeting in June and also, one assumes, give some insights on what to expect from MEPC 77, which overlaps COP26 and runs from 8 to 12 November.

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