Review of Maritime Transport 2023: towards a green and just transition

UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport 2023 calls for a “just and equitable transition” to a decarbonized shipping industry. The sector, whose greenhouse gas emissions have risen 20% over the last decade, operates an ageing fleet that runs almost exclusively on fossil fuels. As global leaders prepare for the next UN climate conference (COP28), UNCTAD advocates for system-wide collaboration, swift regulatory intervention and stronger investments in green technologies and fleets. Full decarbonization by 2050 will require massive investments and could lead to higher maritime logistics costs, raising concerns for vulnerable shipping-reliant nations like small island developing states. The report emphasizes the need to balance environmental goals with economic needs but underscores that the cost of inaction far outweighs the required investments.