Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 July, 2022 at 11:29 am by Andre Camilleri
The Maritime Industry is facing unprecedented challenges posed by Climate Change as it looks at decarbonization and expansion in a sustainable fashion, in line with regulatory frameworks and ESG. This was stated by Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon, President of the Malta Maritime Forum during ‘Energy Efficiency in the Maritime Sector’, a seminar organized by the MMF in collaboration with Bank of Valletta.
‘Climate change is causing rising sea and air temperatures, shifting sea levels and an increase in frequency and magnitude of extreme marine events causing major disruptions to the operations of the industry,’ continued the MMF Chairman. ‘EU and International obligations are being gradually phased in, in an effort to meet ambitious carbon-neutrality targets and the aim of phasing out Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Given the extraordinary circumstances the world has experienced and continues to experience since the past two years, it is clear that the Maritime Industry requires appropriate financing tools and resources.’
‘Banks supporting the shipping industry are increasingly turning to energy-efficiency data when making financing decisions, a step that heralds a significant market shift,’ said Kenneth Farrugia, Chief Retail Banking Officer at Bank of Valletta addressing the Seminar. ‘Each vessel represents a multi-million-dollar investment and ship owners and operators rely on financing from Banks to ensure they can build, upgrade, and maintain them. This means that Banks can exert a strong influence on the development of the market in line with ESG guidelines.’
David Kerr, a Member in the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Equality kept the members of the maritime community present abreast of the latest developments emerging from Brussels with respect to the Commission’s Fit for 55 Package, the REPowerEU Plan and latest ongoing negotiations on the European and International front.
Mark Scicluna Bartoli, Product Management & Development Executive at BOV delivered the last presentation of the seminar, highlighting BOV’s eco-friendly financing options and how these can be applied to the Maritime sector.
‘Bank of Valletta, through its ESG strategy is developing specific products whose aim is to ease access to Finance for energy efficiency investments,’ said Mr Scicluna Bartoli while presenting a pilot product focused on energy efficiency financing developed jointly with the EIF. ‘Such a product, offering reduced interest rates and collateral obligations together with a 2.5% interest rate subsidy for the first 10 years would provide much needed financing to enterprises operating in the Maritime sector.’
The collaboration between Bank of Valletta and the Malta Maritime Forum plays an important role in bringing all the stakeholders together and keeping them abreast of developments in the sector and the banking solutions that the Bank has available in this regard whilst working hand-in-hand to sustain the success of this important economic sector.