Nautilus International has welcomed agreement at the 80th session of the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) that will see shipping emissions reduction target to net-zero by around 2050.
However, the union has warned that the impact of new technologies and alternative, cleaner fuels will have a major effect on the working lives of maritime professionals and has expressed the importance of ensuring that the agreement lives up to the stated ambitions of a just and equitable transition.
Nautilus is calling for a just transition for maritime professionals that includes: future proofing skills and training; securing safety of those onboard; and protecting and enhancing jobs, pay and conditions.
Nautilus International general secretary Mark Dickinson said: 'This agreement is a significant step in the right direction for regulating greenhouse gas emissions within shipping, a crucial component of the action against climate change.
'We are pleased to see several mentions of the need for a just transition within the adopted strategy, but further urgent action is needed. The race to develop alternative fuels and new technologies will have a significant impact on the working lives of those onboard and respect for the voice of maritime professionals is key to delivering a just and equitable transition.
"It is imperative that alongside targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions there is a global effort to ensure a transition that is just and equitable by future proofing skills and training, ensuring there are no compromises in safety and protecting and enhancing jobs, pay and conditions.
'This transition must be more than just technological or alternative fuels, it offers an opportunity to build a maritime industry fit for the future that truly values the work and dedication of maritime professionals – the lifeblood of the global economy.'