Abu Dhabi conference makes strong case for determined climate change action


The inaugural Transportation and Climate Change Conference (TACCC), which attracted more than 300 top-level delegates to the Saadiyat Rotana Resort in Abu Dhabi this week, highlighted the need for strong, concerted action to achieve climate change and sustainability goals.

The event commenced in the esteemed presence of H.E. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, who attended as the guest of honour, along with Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group.

The keynote address was delivered by Capt. Abdulkareem Al Masabi (pictured), CEO of ADNOC Logistics & Services, who emphasised the importance of industry-wide collaboration.

Session 1 of TACCC, which addressed the theme ‘Tackling Transportation’s Contribution to Climate Change: Setting the Course for a Sustainable Future’, witnessed presentations by senior executives all of whom are spearheading change in their respective domains. Speakers in this pivotal session included Eng. Shadi Malak, CEO, Etihad Rail; Antononaldo Neves, CEO, Etihad Aviation Group; Julian Mylchreest, Executive Vice Chairman, Global Corporate & Investment Banking, Bank of America; Sanjay Mehta, Chairman of S One Capital; Abdullah Al Hameli, CEO, Economic Cities & Free Zones, AD Ports Group; Rania Tadros, Managing Partner at Stephenson Harwood Middle East; and James Frew, Global Head of Business Advisory – Decarbonisation Lead at Lloyd’s Register.

Following an engaging Q&A session and a networking luncheon, Session 2, chaired by industry luminary Sanjay Mehta, revolved around ‘Sustainable Ports, Logistics, and Aviation: Redesigning Operations and Technology for a Greener Future’. The line-up of speakers included Emile Hoogsteden, CEO, SOHAR Port & Freezone; Jonathan Andrews, CEO, Steamship Mutual; Antonio Campoy, CEO, Noatum Group, Logistics Cluster, AD Ports Group; Gonzalo Conseco, Director of Research & Development, Onepoint5 & Former Senior Advisor to the Secretariat of the UNFCCC; Mohammad Jaber, Managing Director, Air & Sea and COO Abu Dhabi, DSV Solutions Abu Dhabi; and Matthew Luckhurst, Managing Director, APM Terminals Bahrain. Collectively they explored innovative strategies across the transportation sector and made a number of valuable suggestions for future action.

The conference concluded with Session 3, focusing on ‘Navigating the Operational, Technological, Legal, and Financial Hurdles to Change’. Moderated by leading maritime lawyer Rania Tadros of Stephenson Harwood, the session featured speakers including Emil Pellicer, General Counsel, AD Ports Group; Nitin Mehta, Group COO at Lila Global; Carlos Guerrero Pozuelo, Global Market Leader for Gas Carriers, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore; Farooq Zuberi, CFO, APM Terminals Bahrain; Ravi Jawani, Partner, Fichte & Co; Vijay Arora, Managing Director, Indian Register of Shipping; and Hamed Fathi, Director and head of Legal at the IME Group. Spanning a wide range of maritime activities, these speakers comprehensively addressed the complex challenges faced by the industry, providing valuable insights into how they can be overcome.

Trevor Pereira, MD of organiser The Maritime Standard (TMS), emphasised the crucial timing of the event, just weeks before the COP28 climate change conference in the UAE, and hard on the heels of the IMO setting more ambitious GHG reduction goals for the maritime industry.