Navigating a maritime just transition: Shaping a sustainable and equitable future for seafarers


The maritime industry serves as the backbone of global trade and economic development, with seafarers playing a crucial role in connecting nations across vast oceans. As the maritime industry embarks on a journey towards a greener and more sustainable future, it is essential to ensure a just transition for all involved in the maritime sector.

The Importance of a Just Transition

A just transition signifies the shift from an economy heavily reliant on fossil fuels to one that is sustainable, clean, and environmentally friendly while ensuring fair treatment and the well-being of workers. It is imperative to embrace renewable energy sources, eco-friendly technologies, and policies that safeguard the rights and welfare of seafarers during this transformative process.

Addressing Environmental Challenges

The urgency to address just transition in the maritime sector arises from the environmental challenges we face today, including climate change, pollution, and resource depletion. Even though the contribution of international shipping to GHG emissions is less than 3% of global GHG emissions, the sector is also under pressure to cut down emissions, adopt cleaner fuels and transition to green corridors.

To mitigate these challenges, investment in research and development is crucial to drive innovation and promote the adoption of sustainable technologies. Exploring alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, and biofuels can significantly reduce carbon emissions and environmental pollution.

Harnessing Renewable Energy Sources

Developing renewable energy sources for maritime operations is vital. The utilization of wind, solar, and wave energy can provide sustainable solutions for propulsion and auxiliary power systems. Embracing these technologies not only reduces the industry’s carbon footprint but also creates new employment opportunities, ensuring seafarers remain at the forefront of technological advancements.

Investing in Training and Capacity Building

A maritime just transition demands the establishment of comprehensive training and capacity-building programs. Seafarers need access to education and training that equips them with the skills necessary for the evolving demands of the industry (Upskilling and Reskilling).

By investing in their professional development, we ensure that seafarers remain at the forefront of technological advancements and are well-positioned to thrive in a sustainable maritime sector. The good news is that workers and their rights, including our cherished seafarers, are been placed at the heart of the Maritime Just Transition. This milestone was achieved by the International Transport Workers Federation’s (ITF) relentless campaign during the UNFCCC COP 28 held in Dubai in December last year.

Ensuring Social Protection and Fair Working Conditions

As the maritime industry transitions to a greener future, it is crucial to prioritize social protection and fair working conditions. Collaborative efforts between governments, industry stakeholders, and labor organizations are essential to develop policies that safeguard the rights, health, and well-being of seafarers. This includes fair wages, adequate rest periods, and access to healthcare, and protection from exploitation.

Promoting Gender Equality and Diversity

Maritime just transition also encompasses the need for gender equality and diversity within the industry. Creating an inclusive environment that encourages and supports the participation of women in maritime careers taps into a vast pool of talent and expertise, further strengthening the industry as a whole.

The Role of Ghanaian Seafarers

Seafarers in Ghana play a vital role in shaping the maritime industry’s future. Their expertise and dedication are invaluable assets. It is crucial that their voices are heard and concerns addressed as Ghana navigates this transformative journey. Collaboration with stakeholders is key to driving the maritime just transition forward, creating a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future for all seafarers.


A maritime just transition embodies the principles of sustainability, equality, and social responsibility. By embracing renewable energy, fostering innovation, investing in education and training, and ensuring fair working conditions, we can build a maritime industry that is both environmentally friendly and economically viable.

Seafarers have the power to shape the future of their industry. By working collaboratively with stakeholders, we can create a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future for all seafarers, both in Ghana and globally.

The author, Bismark Owoahene Acheampong, Maritime Services Division.

Ghana Maritime Authority


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