A group of leading maritime transport associations has submitted a proposal to the IMO for the formation of a collaborative global shipping R&D programme to accelerate reductions in CO2.
The associations behind the move include the International Chamber of Shipping, BIMCO, the World Shipping Council, Intercargo and the Cruise Lines International Association.
In a joint statement they say that “an industry-wide move to accelerate R&D is necessary to ensure that the ambitious CO2 reduction targets agreed by IMO Member States in 2018 are met”.
The IMO is targeting a cut in the shipping sector’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of at least 50 per cent by 2050, regardless of trade growth, with full decarbonisation shortly after.
However, the group argues that “meeting IMO's GHG reduction goals will require the deployment of new zero-carbon technologies and propulsion systems – such as green hydrogen and ammonia, fuel cells, batteries and synthetic fuels produced from renewable energy sources – which do not yet exist in a form or scale that can be applied to large commercial ships".
The proposal calls for the establishment of an International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) – a non-governmental R&D organisation that would be overseen by IMO Member States.
The IMRB would be financed by shipping companies worldwide via a mandatory contribution of $2 per tonne of marine fuel purchased – generating around $5bn over a 10-year period.
The associations have written to the IMO setting out details for governance and funding of the R&D programme, which, they say, “can be put in place by 2023 via amendments to the existing IMO Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)”.
The proposal will now be discussed at the next IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting in London in March 2020.
“The coalition of associations behind this proposal are showing true leadership,” says Esben Poulsson, chairman the International Chamber of Shipping.
“The shipping industry must reduce its CO2 emissions to meet the ambitious challenge that the IMO has set – and innovation is vital if we are to develop the technologies to do it.
“This proposal is bold, simple, accountable and deliverable – and we the IMO will support it.”
The full proposal can be found at http://bit.ly/2PzlRPZ