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Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) has recently launched a consultation to co-create a long-term maritime strategy, supported by those working in or connected to the maritime sector, across all disciplines.

The first of the three campaign phases focuses on environmental sustainability. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, urgency around the global energy transition has accelerated. The maritime transport sector is now dealing with a challenge it will have to grapple with for decades. This will be a ‘transition’ that, if successful, will see shipping undergo a structural change – not only a transition from a reliance on commodity, fossil-based fuels to low and zero carbon alternatives, but in terms of the cargoes it carries, and in the very nature of the global economy it serves.

As an island state, Cyprus recognises the need to maximise the protection and sustainability of the marine environment at a local, Mediterranean, and global level. We understand that striking the right balance between green transformation and competitiveness is a challenge, but also presents opportunities.

Cyprus has always proactively and constructively participated in policy development on both an international and regional level. Over the past year, the SDM has launched a range of green incentives to reward vessels that demonstrate effective GHG emissions reductions. Additionally, Cyprus works hard within the IMO and at EU level to achieve a level playing-field and a fair working environment in maritime transport, by defining and implementing agreed and evidence-based rules and standards for competitive, safe, secure, efficient and sustainable shipping. As a leading flag state with a large fleet and high level of technical expertise, we are now taking this one step further and asking “what more can Cyprus do to achieve sustainability in every sense of the word?”

Regarding the campaign, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister, Vassilios Demetriades, commented: “We are really excited about this first phase of our consultation campaign. Flag states are well positioned to encourage ship owners to invest in making sustainable and financially-beneficial choices which enable the green transformation and, simultaneously, safeguard competitiveness with no loss in continuity of the transport services offered. With this in mind, we are opening our doors and inviting thoughts and ideas to inform the co-creation of our vision for the maritime industry.

“There is a clear need to intensify efforts to come up with a basket of measures, both regulatory and non-regulatory. What could be an effective balance that will serve both objectives? How can the maritime transport sector make a meaningful contribution towards the reduction of climate change while maintaining its competitiveness? We want to help shape the future, and collaborating on a local and global level is essential when trying to solve this worldwide challenge of achieving environmental sustainability for the maritime sector.”

Whatever your connection to us, we want to hear from you. If you are part of the global shipping community; if you belong to the maritime community based in Cyprus; or if you live in Cyprus and have views on marine-related activities – we value your opinions. Please get in touch to share your thoughts and ideas.

A video invitation message by the Shipping Deputy Minister to the President Mr. Vassilios Demetriades is available on the following link:

To contribute to Cyprus’ strategic vision for shipping, please visit the website and submit your feedback by responding to the relevant questions.