IMO Maritime Environment Committee rejects plans for an industry-backed R&D fund to accelerate shipping decarbonization – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Governments at the meeting of IMO’s key marine environment committee have rejected plans for a shipping industry-backed program to accelerate research and development of alternative fuels that will help spur the industry’s decarbonization efforts.

Known as the International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB), the IMO-supervised program would have accelerated research and development of low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels and technologies for maritime transport. The proposal has been supported by many of the largest international shipping industry organizations who have urged governments to adopt the proposal quickly.

The rejection came this week during the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 78) meeting. The IMO, the UN agency responsible for regulating international shipping, has set itself the first goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. The IMO is expected to finalize its greenhouse gas reduction strategy in 2023, with pressure building to raise the target to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.

Many saw the IMRB as the most concrete proposal currently on the table. There is currently no consensus on the future fuel mix that will help the industry meet its decarbonization goals.

“By refusing to move forward with the research and development fund proposed by the shipping industry, the IMO has missed their chance to kick-start a rapid transition to zero-carbon technologies, which will be crucial if we are to fully decarbonize by 2050,” said Guy Platten , Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents 80% of the world merchant fleet. “Despite the support of many IMO countries, we have been frustrated by short-sighted political maneuvering that has resulted in the original proposal being quashed. The signal this sends means that the financial risk associated with green investments will remain high, slowing efforts to switch to zero-carbon fuels as quickly as possible.”

Funding for the program was to come through an International Maritime Research Fund (IMRF), funded by a $2 per tonne tax on each ship’s fuel consumption over a 10-year period.

“Some have claimed that the fund is a market-based measure and does not go far enough, deliberately misinterpreting our intent. The fund was never presented as a carbon pricing measure, which, while an additional measure that we also fully support, is politically far more complex and will take many years to come. If governments had shown the political will, the separate R&D fund could have been established and operational over the next year to collect billions of dollars from industry at no cost to governments,” said Platten.

“In addition to providing half a billion dollars per year to support global R&D programs, the fund would have provided $50 million per year to support projects to reduce marine greenhouse gases in developing countries – a tenfold increase of the IMO’s current technical cooperation budget. Unfortunately, it appears that this opportunity to provide immediate assistance to developing countries such as small island nations has now also been missed,” added Simon Bennett, ICS Deputy Secretary General.

“What remains positive is the opportunity for the IMO to use the Fund’s proposed regulatory architecture to underpin a future global carbon levy on shipping’s CO2 emissions to close the price gap with zero-carbon fuels once they become available and make a significant contribution Means to accelerate the transition to net zero by 2050,” added Bennet.

“If the contribution system we have developed can accelerate the implementation of a global carbon tax for shipping, perhaps we can look back on this setback at the IMO as a significant moment of success,” he said.

“Despite the lack of governance at the IMO, the shipping industry remains committed to finding ways to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Research and development funding will be high on the agenda at the Shaping the Future of Shipping Summit hosted by ICS on June 21 in London. We will bring together leading CEOs from our global industry to explore ways to practically decarbonize shipping,” said Platten.

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