Unlocking U.S. Leadership Toward Zero Emission Shipping Workshop Summary I

June 27, 2023  • The Energy & Environment Program

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On November 3, 2022, the Aspen Institute’s Shipping Decarbonization Initiative (Aspen SDI) convened a workshop with 45+ U.S. maritime actors titled “Unlocking U.S. Leadership Toward Zero Emission Shipping—Opportunities, Challenges and Pathways Forward.” Participants engaged in a wide-ranging discussion guided by an agenda which consisted of remarks from government leaders, discussion panels, and participant dialogue focused on challenges and opportunities for maritime decarbonization. The workshop was held under Chatham House rule by which participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

Andrew Wishnia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and Maritime Administration (MARAD) Administrator Rear Admiral (Ret.) Ann Phillips provided keynote addresses. Key points included the Biden Administration’s whole-of-government approach to maritime decarbonization, leveraging recently passed legislation, ensuring an inclusive transition to zero emission shipping accounting for workers and communities, and the need for greater collaboration and partnerships between sectors.

The workshop explored the roles and perspectives of various federal agencies as well as U.S. efforts on the international stage, particularly at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Ultimately, participants concluded that partnerships within and between the private and public sectors, enhanced by civil society engagement and expertise, are critical to channel ambition into action. Building on the topics raised and the success of the workshop, the Aspen Institute plans to convene additional workshops around specific U.S. maritime decarbonization issues, including several topics identified as opportunities and challenges during this workshop.


View and download the second Workshop Summary in this series, “Mapping Pathways to U.S. Maritime Decarbonization Workshop”.