Canada Backs New Maritime Decarbonization Center in Vancouver

Port of Vancouver, B.C. (file image)

Published May 24, 2021 1:22 AM by The Maritime Executive

The Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate (VMCC) has announced the launch of Operation Flagship, a program to foster climate solution pilot projects and accelerate the adoption of emissions reduction solutions.

The center's objective is to help shipowners, operators, ports and terminals - as well as the supporting land-based infrastructure - to source innovative, sustainable solutions to reduce their GHG emissions. 

"In just one year, VMCC has gone from an idea discussed over lunch to a rapidly expanding start-up," says VMCC’s co-founder Elisabeth Charmley. "Our community is already taking action to address climate change and reduce their carbon footprint, so it’s important that we work with them to help them get the tools and resources they need."

VMCC is locally based and industry led, and it has a mandate to reduce maritime-source greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia for local and visiting vessels. 

“Operation Flagship is designed to bring together innovators with site hosts to demonstrate the effectiveness of new or existing decarbonizing solutions. This program will help to accelerate and scale solutions that have real impacts on maritime industry emissions,” said co-founder Bryan Buggey. 

At the VMCC launch ceremony on April 30, Canadian environment minister said that Canada is on track to meet a 36 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 - but still more needs to be done. “Our goals are going to take effort, not only on the part of government, but on the part of businesses, communities and organizations," Wilkinson said. 

Bernadette Jordan, Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, was also present for the launch ceremony. “Our government’s commitment to addressing climate change aligns very closely with the goals that VMCC has set, and this means opportunity for all of us," Jordan said. "The carbon footprint of global shipping generates about three percent of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. Considering the industry’s potential for growth, this figure will continue to rise if left unchecked."

VMCC has launched Operation Flagship with funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada, in collaboration with DNV, clean-tech accelerator Foresight Canada and consultancy Brightspot Climate. DNV also played a key role in the development of Washington Maritime Blue, an industry partnership organization and tech incubator in Seattle.