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Clean Energy Marine Hubs Initiative gains further momentum at key Ministerial energy meeting hosted by IRENA

Climate and energy Energy transition Clean Marine Fuels 5 min read
Picture courtesy of IRENA

IAPH members AD Ports Group (UAE) and Port of Antwerp-Bruges (Belgium) attended the meeting

16 January 2023 : The Clean Energy Marine Hubs (CEM Hubs) initiative has gained further support during a Ministerial event hosted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) at its 13th Assembly in Abu Dhabi. IRENA welcomes the CEM Hubs initiative, a cross-sectoral public-private platform aimed to accelerate the production, transport and use of low-carbon fuels that will be transported by shipping for the world, implemented by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Association of Ports & Harbors (IAPH) and the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).

IRENA is the leading global intergovernmental agency for energy transformation and its membership comprises of 168 countries and the European Union. IRENA’s support bridges the shipping industry and ports with the renewable energy sector. IRENA is the principal platform for international cooperation, boasting near-global membership it supports stakeholders in their energy transitions, and brings a wealth of insights, best practices, data analysis and knowledge to the CEM Hubs initiative.

The CEM Hubs Initiative taskforce, with other members of the shipping industry, actively engaged in a Ministerial Roundtable at IRENA’s 13th Assembly and joined in the discussions about renewable energy generation to produce low-carbon fuels, strategies going forward and the role of shipping and ports, to support the wider energy transition.

IRENA will continue to expand its collaboration with ICS and partners in the shipping sector to further strengthen the CEM Hubs initiative and accelerate the use of renewables-based fuels in the shipping and other end-use sectors.

Co-led by a taskforce of CEO’s and coordinated with the support of ICS and IAPH, the initiative was first presented at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in Pittsburgh in September 2022. With the backing of five countries already - the UAE, Canada, Norway, Uruguay and Panama – the initiative continues to gain momentum to be launched as a CEM initiative at the 14th Clean Energy Ministerial in India in 2023.

Francesco La Camera, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), commented:

“The successful decarbonisation of the shipping sector is a story of massive deployment of renewable electricity and electrolyser technology. The decarbonisation of this sector needs to have a collaborative approach. Collaborative efforts involving the global shipping industry, governments and international organisations are key to achieve meaningful progress and build a more sustainable future for all of us. We need to build new pillars of infrastructure including a network of ports for green hydrogen trade, connecting new points of supply and demand. We need initiatives like the ‘Clean Energy Marine Hubs’ to drive action.”

International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Chairman Emanuele Grimaldi added:

“We would like to thank IRENA and Francesco La Camera for inviting us to be part of IRENA’s 13th Assembly and these critical discussions. Renewable energy generation is not only vital for shipping but for the whole world, as it is a key component to scale the availability of low-carbon fuels. We can all no longer work in silos if we are to meet global decarbonisation goals. Governments, ports, renewable energy producers and the shipping industry all have a role to play and the CEM Hubs initiative provides the platform to push this forward. The time for talking is over – it is time for action.”

“Going forward the CEM Hubs initiative will continue to strengthen the key link between the energy and maritime industries and to catalyse the global energy transformation and de-risk future investments. With COP28 just around the corner, we look forward to collectively working together with the UAE and IRENA to ensure that shipping plays its full part in the global fight to address climate change.”

Patrick Verhoeven, Managing Director of the International Association of Ports & Harbours, said:

"With the joint collaboration of shipping, energy extractors and governments, ports can become the clean maritime energy hubs that catalyse shipping’s wider decarbonisation. Yet further government and institutional support is essential to provide the reassurances the private sector needs to invest in zero carbon fuels and onshore power provisions. Working with such a prominent intergovernmental agency for energy transformation as IRENA is vital to that process."

Dr Prasoon Agarwal, Acting Head of Secretariat, Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), said:

“To further the progress of global clean energy deployment, today’s discussions at the IRENA Assembly has once again highlighted the importance of developing a truly international Clean Energy Marine Hub. We are excited for the CEM Hubs to be launched as a Clean Energy Ministerial initiative in the upcoming ministerial in India. Structured as a public-private collaborative, the CEM Hubs will address a key missing piece in the global clean energy transition by bringing together policy makers, experts and industry leaders from across sectors such as energy, shipping, ports and finance. The CEM’s current global initiatives on hydrogen, biofuels, and industry decarbonisation, among others, would further strengthen to elevate the Hubs.”

Notes to editors

About ICS

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for merchant shipowners and operators, representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet - www.ics-shipping.org.


The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is a lead global intergovernmental agency for energy transformation that serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, supports countries in their energy transitions, and provides state of the art data and analyses on technology, innovation, policy, finance and investment. IRENA drives the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, and energy security, for economic and social resilience and prosperity and a climate-proof future - www.irena.org.

About IAPH

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has developed into a global alliance of 169 port authorities as well as 134 port-related businesses. Comprised of 87 different nationalities across the world’s continents, member ports handle approximately one third of the world’s sea-borne trade and well over 60% of the world container traffic. IAPH leads global port industry initiatives on decarbonization and energy transition, risk and resilience management, and accelerating digitalization in the maritime transport chain. Its World Ports Sustainability Program has grown into the reference database of best practices of ports applying the UN Sustainable Development Goals and integrating them into their businesses - www.iaphworldports.org.

About the Clean Energy Ministerial

The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is a high-level global forum to promote policies and programmes that advance clean energy technology, to share lessons learned and best practices, and to encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy. Initiatives are based on areas of common interest among participating governments and other stakeholders. The CEM brings together a community of the world’s largest and leading countries, companies and international experts to achieve one mission –accelerate clean energy transitions - www.cleanenergyministerial.org.

Media Contact:

Katerina Dimitropoulos, Communications Manager, International Chamber of Shipping

Email – Katerina.dimitropoulos@ics-shipping.org

Climate and Energy Resilient Infrastructure Clean Marine Fuels