Climate change challenges facing the maritime industry

Photo: MMF – BOV Seminar

Tista’ taqra bil-
Malta.

The maritime industry faces unprecedented challenges posed by climate change as it considers decarbonization and expansion in a sustainable manner, in line with regulatory frameworks and ESG. So said Emeritus Judge Joseph Zammit McKeon, Chairman of the Malta Maritime Forum during “Energy Efficiency in the Maritime Sector”, a seminar organized by the MMF in conjunction with the Bank of Valletta.

“Climate change is causing increased sea and air temperatures, shifting sea levels and an increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme marine events, leading to major disruptions to the operations of the industry”, continued the president of the MMF. “European and international obligations are gradually being put in place, with the aim of achieving ambitious carbon neutrality targets and phasing out Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Given the extraordinary circumstances the world has known and continues to know for the past two years, it is clear that the maritime industry needs the right tools and funding resources.

“Banks that support the shipping industry are increasingly turning to energy efficiency data when making financing decisions, a step that heralds a significant shift in the market,” said Kenneth Farrugia, Director retail banking services at the Bank of Valletta, during the seminar. “Each ship is a multi-million dollar investment and ship owners and operators depend on bank financing to ensure they can build, upgrade and maintain them. This means that banks can exert a strong influence on market development in line with ESG guidelines.

David Kerr, Member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Equality, updated the members of the maritime community present on the latest developments emanating from Brussels in relation to the Commission’s Fit for 55 package, the REPowerEU plan and the latest ongoing negotiations on the international front.

Mark Scicluna Bartoli, Head of Product Management and Development at BOV made the final presentation of the seminar, highlighting BOV’s green financing options and how these can be applied to the maritime sector.

“The Bank of Valletta, through its ESG strategy, develops specific products whose purpose is to facilitate access to finance for investments in energy efficiency”, said Mr. Scicluna Bartoli during the presentation of a pilot product focused on energy efficiency financing developed jointly with the EIF. “Such a product, offering reduced interest rates and collateral obligations, as well as a 2.5% interest rate subsidy for the first 10 years, would provide much-needed financing to companies operating in the maritime sector.”

The collaboration between Bank of Valletta and the Malta Maritime Forum plays an important role in bringing together all stakeholders and keeping them abreast of developments in the sector and the banking solutions available to the Bank in this regard, while working hand in hand to support the success of this important economic sector.

Issued by Bank of Valletta plc, 58, Triq San Zakkarija, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1130. Bank of Valletta plc is a limited company regulated by the MFSA and is authorized to carry on banking business in accordance with the Banking Act (Cap 371 of the Statutes of Malta).

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