As 2021 draws to a close, we are enthusiastically determined to take part in the marine industry’s transition to a greener future. COP26 recently brought together world leaders to expedite the goals of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In line with this, the marine industry reached a turning point when 200 signatories joined their voices in the Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization. The message is clear: decarbonizing shipping is not only desirable, it’s doable.

Success in decarbonizing shipping is not the sum of isolated initiatives, but a joint effort to coordinate initiatives with concerted will from one end of the supply chain to the other. So now, shipowners, shipping lines, ports, associations, companies and organizations are calling on governments to ensure global success.

Success in decarbonizing shipping is not the sum of isolated initiatives, but a joint effort to coordinate initiatives with concerted will from one end of the supply chain to the other.

We know how important shipping is to the economy. In Quebec, 80% of all goods pass through a port and this industry supports 27,000 jobs, transports 110 million tonnes of goods a year and generates $2.3 billion in economic benefits. This goes to show how much shipping in Quebec can and must act as a leader in decarbonizing the transportation industry. 

The Port of Montreal is, of course, integral to this movement. Over twenty years ago, we began to focus more and more on sustainable development in managing our infrastructure and developing our activities. The positive impact of this approach can be seen in the inventories of GHGs that we carried out, which showed in 2020 a 42% decrease in the intensity of our GHG emissions since 2007.

On both sides of the supply chain, locally and internationally, solutions are emerging. Zero-emission vessels are being designed, carbon-neutral infrastructures are being built and new green fuels are being developed. 

We also know that Quebec and Greater Montreal are particularly well positioned to develop green energy solutions. We have privileged access to a renewable natural resource, hydroelectricity, as well as a huge potential to innovate and come up with solutions to build a sustainable future. 

While there is still a long way to go, the momentum is clearly underway and we’re moving forward on a solid foundation. We have to keep going and succeed, but more than ever we have the key ingredients on our side, namely the potential for innovation and the collaboration of all the players. Everything is in place to hone our ambitions, pool our efforts and accelerate the transition to the world we want to build.

Cheers to pursuing this goal in the coming year, and Happy Holidays!

 

Martin Imbleau