Formation of Just Transition Maritime Task Force announced at COP26

In what has been hailed as a landmark moment for maritime workers, the formation of a Just Transition Maritime Task Force has been agreed to drive decarbonisation of the industry and support millions of seafarers through shipping’s green transition.

The task force will push forward shipping’s climate goals while protecting its workers and their communities, ensuring opportunity for all. It will focus on the development of new green skills and green and decent work, identifying best practice across the value chain and providing policy recommendations for an equitable transition – with a specific focus on developing economies.

The task force was agreed during high-level discussions at COP26 between the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing shipowners, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), representing seafarers and port workers, and the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Other influential UN bodies including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will join the task force as formal partners.

Guy Platten (pictured, right), secretary general of the ICS, said: “Many of our seafarers come from developing nations, who are witnessing first-hand the effects of climate change. We must ensure they are given the green skills they need to keep global trade moving, and that developing nations can have access to the technologies and infrastructure to be part of shipping’s green transition.”

Steve Cotton (pictured, left), ITF General Secretary, said: “This task force will give international shipping the opportunity to lead the transformation of transport. We welcome the commitment from all partners, from industry and the UN agencies, to tackle this challenge collaboratively with workers and their unions.”

A meeting is expected to take place in December to begin setting up the practical next steps for the Just Transition Task Force.