Collaboration is key to making shipping cleaner and greener given it is a global enterprise, said Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Lam Pin Min.
He told the Asia Europe Meeting Conference yesterday how Singapore has fostered such collaboration to improve sustainable shipping.
One was the creation of a focus group between the port authorities and maritime administrations from Asia, Europe and the United States to promote LNG (liquefied natural gas) bunkering.
This resulted in the world's first set of harmonised safety standards for LNG bunkering, said Dr Lam.
Another initiative was the collaboration between governments and inter-governmental organisations. Singapore has pledged an enhanced technical cooperation and training package for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and its member states, valued at US$5 million (S$6.6 million) over five years.
Dr Lam also pointed to the collaboration between the government and the industry.
He said 429 vessels qualified last year for the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's Green Ship Programme, which encourages the use of efficient designs to reduce carbon dioxide and sulphur oxide emissions.
This was an eleven-fold increase from 2012.
He also noted that there were more than 4,100 calls at Singapore by vessels that burn low sulphur marine fuel last year, double the number in 2013, as a result of the Green Port Programme. The programme incentivises ocean-going ships calling here to reduce their emission of pollutants with a reduction in port dues.
The conference where Dr Lam made his remarks was jointly organised by the governments of Germany, Norway, the Philippines and Singapore, and attracted more than 250 participants. It was held to promote sustainable shipping, following the recent adoption of the initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the IMO.
Participants from the other countries also exchanged insights and best practices on a wide range of issues related to sustainable shipping, including new technological and commercial solutions, partnerships and perspectives from both Asia and Europe.
Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment, Mr Ola Elvestuen, said: "Determined efforts and private-public partnerships have brought Norway into a leading position in developing and using green technology in domestic shipping."
Dr Lam said: "No single entity can resolve the complex and cross-cutting issues on its own. This means we need to foster collaboration and partnership, between governments, industry, research institutions and academia."