Seafarers Leading a Just Transition for Global Shipping
Global shipping urgently needs to decarbonise. The world is facing a climate emergency. Urgent action is needed to limit global warming to 1.5C or we will face disastrous consequences.
The world’s 1.89 million seafarers are key to powering this industry through a successful transition.
The Maritime Just Transition Task Force was formed by seafarers' unions, shipowners and UN bodies to ensure that shipping’s response to the climate emergency puts seafarers and communities at the heart of the solution.
The Task Force's joint position paper 'Mapping a Maritime Just Transition for Seafarers' puts forward an ambitious 10-point action plan to achieve a Just Transition for seafarers:
New DNV research
The Task Force commissioned leading maritime consultancy DNV to model how many seafarers would require training under various decvarbonisation scenarios. The DNV research is called Seafarer training and skills for decarbonized shipping.
The three emission reduction scenarios assessed in the research highlight an immediate need to start putting the training infrastructure in place, to ensure hundreds of thousands of the world’s nearly two million seafarers are upskilled and empowered through the transition.
Findings also suggest that a lack of certainty on alternative fuel options is having knock-on effects for seafarer training, as the global maritime community works towards a clearer decarbonization pathway in a post-fossil fuel era.
The research was conducted by leading maritime consultancy DNV and commissioned by the Maritime Just Transition Task Force Secretariat. The Maritime Just Transition Task Force was formed to ensure that shipping’s response to the climate emergency puts seafarers and communities at the heart of the solution
In response to the training challenge that the modelling lays bare, the Action Plan makes recommendations for industry, governments, seafarer unions and academia (including training providers). These recommendations include:
- Strengthening global training standards
- Ensuring a health-and-safety-first approach
- Establishing advisory national maritime skills councils
10-Point Action Plan
Key to the solutions to reducing global shipping's emissions and achieving a Just Transition for seafarers, is unlocking the investment needed to build the training and career pathways infrastructure that seafarers need to upgrade their skills and safely handle alternative fuels.
We've put these solutions, and many more, into a 10-Point Action Plan to Achieve a Just Transition for Seafarers.
ITF affiliates, shipowners and other social partners can download posters of the Action Plan (in small, A4 and A3/large print versions) here.
How did we get here?
Just Transition and the ITF Sustainable Shipping Policy
Prior to forming the Maritime Just Transition Task Force at COP26 in November 2021, the ITF global union family of seafarers' unions was already well on our way to grappling with the key issues, problems and opportunities of the need to reduce emissions from the shipping sector.
Here you can see our Seafarers' Section launch our own ITF Sustainable Shipping Policy in this launch and webinar hosted by ITF Seafarers' Section chair David Heindel, and with contributions from three working seafarers: