Against the backdrop of the pandemic, urgency around the global energy transition has accelerated for the entirety of the shipping industry and working towards a decarbonised future is one of shipping’s greatest challenges. Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) has recognised that the green transformation is a significant mountain to summit, and wants to lead that change and help shipowners navigate the journey to net zero.
In providing this support, Cyprus has adopted new policies to embrace change and deliver a more sustainable and competitive future for Cyprus shipping and beyond. To achieve this, Cyprus is currently working on initiatives at EU level to promote the image of shipping and to bridge the gap between the shipping industry and NGO’s, as well as setting up the framework conditions for the digital transformation of the Shipping Deputy Ministry.
In October 2021, Cyprus had announced Sea Change 2030, a long-term strategic vision for Cyprus’ shipping, maritime, and marine-related activities (www.shippingstrategy.com). The consultation phase was a collaborative process and asked internal, local and international stakeholders to share thoughts and ideas on certain topics, including environmental sustainability, digital transformation, and global challenges such as crew changes and piracy. After consolidating all the information, Cyprus has determined a clear vision, mission and objectives to create a new future for the shipping industry in Cyprus and beyond.
The strategy contains 35 individual actions to deliver sustainable advancement for shipping, categorised under three main
pillars: Sustainable, Extrovert, and Adaptable and a new unit has been created within the SDM to monitor the implementation of these initiatives.
Cyprus has always prided itself on being a collaborative and proactive nation, recognising the importance of its place on the global stage. By launching initiatives that seek ongoing consultation with individuals, the industry, regulators and other states, Cyprus will invite more of the industry into the conversation, fostering an environment which enables informed decision-making.
Vassilios Demetriades, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister said: “Overall, our aim is for Cyprus to co-shape and influence progress in shipping on a global and European level. It is important to act promptly and to be actively involved in forming European and international policies and to play a leading role in driving positive change.
“The shipping industry is in an era of momentous transformation, navigating the pandemic, the energy transition and constantly evolving regulations and decarbonisation targets. Collaboration and adaptability will be essential to success. The industry is going through an era of renewal and this is happening now. Those being confident with decisions, evolving processes and operations will be the leaders of tomorrow. Covid-19 has changed many things, from a boom in digitalisation to shifting operations, will enable resilience now and later.”
There is a clear need to intensify efforts to ensure that shipping contributes meaningfully to addressing climate change. At the same time, it is important to ensure that the sector maintains its competitiveness and its strategic importance for Europe. While Cyprus implements a renewed approach at a local level, it is clear the strategy is intended to be both adjustable and scalable, both regionally and internationally, providing a blue print for others, perhaps influencing the mindset towards ongoing, sustainable and positive development.