The shipping industry has welcomed the growing momentum for a $ 5 billion R&D fund for shipping, but calls on governments to act on their climate commitments and not waste more time moving forward. ‘forward with decisive actions to support the decarbonization of industry.
At the recent UN IMO meeting (MEPC 76), delegates agreed to continue work on the $ 5 billion IMO-supervised R&D fund program, which will be led by a new International Maritime Research and Development Council (IMRB), with many countries pledging to support the proposal. However, in a joint statement, several bodies said “it is disappointing that once again we have to wait until the next meeting before we can start”.
The R&D program is designed to accelerate the development and introduction of zero-emission technologies and fuels for maritime transport, which are essential to enable the industry to become carbon-free. âThe R&D fund has grown considerably over the past three years. It is the only concrete proposal on the table and can be accepted and implemented by 2023. Governments rightly call for innovation and decarbonization now. It is now, and we need IMO member states to step forward and allow us to accelerate the necessary R&D without further delay, âsaid industry organizations.
The IMO has set targets to reduce total emissions from maritime transport by at least 50% by 2050, with the US and EU now calling for emission-free transport in the 30 coming years. To be successful, the industry needs zero carbon ships capable of transoceanic voyages, available by 2030. However, technologies to operate offshore vessels on zero carbon fuels are not yet available and current R&D efforts are not sufficient.
âWe urgently need to expand and accelerate R&D around zero carbon technologies and fuels. But innovation is not free. To catalyze innovation, the industry is poised to provide guaranteed funding of $ 5 billion at no cost to governments, giving all nations equitable access to the works and technologies that the fund advances. So what are we waiting for? âSaid the shipowners’ organizations.
The organizations said it was encouraging to see support for the R&D program from additional countries. Increased commitment is now necessary for concrete regulatory and technological progress. UN IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim has made it clear: “Failure is not an option.” The whole world is watching, and they will be watching MEPC 77 and COP26 even more closely.
âThe R&D fund proposal is mature and ready for approval, and the industry is already committed to doing the necessary work to establish the fund, a payment system and the necessary funding. We can do it now, and for the sake of our climate and future generations, we must. We urge governments to endorse the proposed amendments to MARPOL Annex 6 to MEPC 77 in November, as the first concrete step towards making the IMRB a necessary reality to reduce GHG emissions from maritime transport â, states the press release.
The international shipowners’ associations supporting this proposal, which collectively represent all sectors and trades and more than 90% of the global merchant fleet, are:
- INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CRUISE LINES
- INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING CHAMBER
- INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PARCEL CARRIERS
- WORLD NAVIGATION COUNCIL