First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, has officially launched City of Glasgow College’s International Maritime Hub as Glasgow hosts COP26.

In partnership with Maritime UK, the Hub at the college’s Riverside campus, overlooking the River Clyde, will be a global showcase for green technology, innovation and capabilities from across the UK maritime industry.

To mark the opening, the First Minister toured the Hub’s Innovation Exhibition which highlights key projects that support the college’s approach to sustainability.

She was also presented with a brooch, designed by HND jewellery student, Aileen Dickie-Adams, to wear during COP26. The design, which took inspiration from the Corryvreckan whirlpool located near the Isle of Jura, was selected by the First Minister herself, and highlights the issue of rising sea levels due to climate change.

The First Minister said:

“Scotland’s maritime sector consistently punches above its weight and accounts for approximately one fifth of the UK industry. City of Glasgow College does likewise, training almost half of all UK maritime cadets. Creating the International Maritime Hub for COP26 at City of Glasgow College is an ideal opportunity for global maritime stakeholders to meet and explore the future maritime direction, whilst also experiencing the world class facilities here on the Clyde.

“The Scottish Government is committed to the decarbonisation of the transport sector in a sustainable way to deliver a just transition. By 2032, 30% of Scottish Government ferries will be low emission and low emission solutions are being widely adopted at Scottish ports. We will continue to collaborate with stakeholders across the maritime industry, including Maritime UK and City of Glasgow College, to help achieve our ambitious net zero targets.”

Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive at City of Glasgow College said:

“As one of the leading maritime institutions across the globe, we are delighted to have Scotland’s First Minister both launch and endorse our International Maritime Hub for COP26.

“Together with Maritime UK, the Hub will host a range of events to highlight UK maritime expertise within technology, policy, regulation, education and training. With decarbonisation of the global maritime sector a necessary step to reaching net zero targets, our Hub will underline the sector’s capabilities to world leaders and advance the conversation around green growth.”

The UK maritime sector is worth an annual £46.1bn to the UK economy. Transporting goods by sea is the most carbon efficient mode of transport, however, the sheer volume of traffic means shipping and its associated activity accounts for between 2-3% of global emissions.

Sarah Kenny, Chair of Maritime UK, added:

“It’s a pleasure to be partnering with City of Glasgow College on what is a pivotal moment for our sector. Our International Maritime Hub will provide a unique platform to showcase cutting-edge green projects as the industry convenes to discuss the greatest of shared missions. We hope our extensive programme of events will galvanise and accelerate progress towards the decarbonisation of the sector.”

The Innovations Exhibition at the Hub features key initiatives and projects that support City of Glasgow College’s approach to sustainability, showing what is happening across the curriculum in terms of raising awareness of climate action and developing green skills.

The Hub is also holding the college’s ‘Voyage to Carbon Zero’ seminar, which will explore the future of the maritime industry looking at the lifecycle of a ship and the skills required for the future generation seafarer.