Maritime influencers


Vassilios Demetriades: Regulators and industry should work together in this decarbonization journey

Vassilios Demetriades, Shipping Deputy Minister to the President of Cyprus

Τhe Covid-19 pandemic, followed by the was in Ukraine, has had a considerable and ongoing impact on the global shipping industry. For 2023, it is clear that world trade growth will continue to lose momentum, compounded by current and future trade restrictions. 

The shipping industry, was already facing uncertainty stemming from the green and digital transition, and geopolitical tensions are now exacerbating this. Considering shipping’s global nature, it’s important that regulators work to fully understand the specificities of the sector, and how it will be affected by measures such as sanctions.

At the same time, the shipping sector is facing the persisting challenges of the rapid technological change and the need for decarbonization, with societal pressure to move from ambition to action expected to increase further during 2023. Towards this direction, the industry should concentrate efforts to meet its obligations through technical and operational efficiencies related to fleet consumption and vessels performance.

To cope effectively with the environmental sustainability challenges the shipping sector will require unprecedented levels of collaboration. Regulators and industry should work together in this decarbonization journey in order ensure that the regulatory framework is fit for purpose and to explore effectively the potential of short-term action to reduce emissions.

Sustainability should also address the human element and more specifically the shortage of seafarers as well as the upskilling of workforce, both ashore and onboard. 

Making the maritime industry more attractive by investing in education, training and better communication of the role of the maritime industry whilst improving diversity and inclusion, is pivotal in ensuring a brighter future for shipping.

Cyprus is well aware of the needs and specificities of the sector and has taken a number of initiatives at global and EU level as well as concrete actions at national level to support the industry and to effectively respond to crises and challenges. 

We look forward to continuing our work to proactively, and collaboratively, drive positive change in global shipping while safeguarding the sector’s competitiveness, especially in light of current geopolitical challenges.

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