Nor-Shipping believes that its “comeback” in 2022 will give the industry the ideal platform to digest developments, and redefine strategies, in the wake of COP26 in October/November. The Norwegian event week, taking place in Oslo and Lillestrøm 10-13 January, will be the first major, full-scale ocean industries event post-pandemic and post-COP26 – giving international decisionmakers the chance to physically gather once again and plan for change. Nor-Shipping 2022’s focus on #ACTION will, says Per Martin Tanggaard, Nor-Shipping Director External Relations, chime with an industry that must move quickly.
The race is on
“COP26 is, arguably, the most important meeting the international community will ever have, with an overriding focus on turning ambition into tangible action and avoiding environmental disaster,” Tanggaard comments. “With an ever-greater societal awareness of the challenges we face, and the limited time we have to address them, the race is on, and shipping, and related ocean industries, have a key role to play. I think that will probably be the talking point in January.”
With the EU, US, China and other leading economies targeting net zero emissions by mid-point in the century, observers expect mounting pressure to be applied for maritime to step up its transformational timeline. Tanggaard says the industry needs to come together to discuss the ramifications of this, while working together to unlock accompanying opportunities.
“No one can deny the scale of the challenge, but the business potential is of equal magnitude,” he notes. “The market demand for green technology, onboard systems, alternative energy and fuel sources, and a repurposing of existing assets and competence will be immense… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We also have to determine how best to manage and exploit our ocean resources (the focus of our Blue Economy Hall) and work together across borders, and industries, to share knowledge and empower one another.
“Some will see this as an insurmountable issue. But it’s not. It’s a problem we as an industry are perfectly placed to solve if we access one another’s expertise, inspiration and ambition. That’s what Nor-Shipping is all about. In the aftermath of COP26 I’d argue this is our most important event ever.”
UNGC sets sights on Oslo
The discussions held, and decisions made, at COP26 will also be a key focus for the United Nations Global Compact High-Level Meeting on ocean, now confirmed to take place on 10 January in Oslo under Nor-Shipping 2022. This follows on from the UNGC “Driving Ambition for COP26” panel debate that was held at Nor-Shipping’s June 2021 hybrid event Ocean Now in Oslo. The High-Level Meeting will gather a diverse range of ocean leaders from across the world as it looks to enable the balancing of ocean health with ongoing commercial activity.
Nor-Shipping 2022 will see a wide array of activity across Oslo and nearby Lillestrøm, with exhibition halls, the Ocean Leadership conference, networking and social events, and opportunities for decisionmakers to connect, develop and do business with one another, face-to-face. Over 80% of the available exhibition space is now booked. Last year’s Ocean Now took the place of the original, full-scale Nor-Shipping 2021, which was moved to 2022 due to the pandemic.
“It’s been a long time coming,” concludes Tanggaard, “and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back to Norway.”