Shipping’s $5 Billion Decarbonization Proposal

Support is growing for a proposed $5 billion research fund to help decarbonize shipping.

The World Shipping Council, one of the proposal’s original non-governmental co-sponsors, reports that Denmark has now joined the effort as a co-sponsor, joining Georgia, Greece, Japan, Liberia, Malta, Nigeria, Palau, Singapore, and Switzerland in backing the plan submitted to the UN’s International Maritime Organization on March 10.

The plan proposes the establishment of an International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB), an IMO-supervised and industry financed $5 billion program to fast-track research and development of zero-carbon technologies within the global shipping industry.

The IMRB would be funded through a “International Maritime Research Fund (IMRF)” of a mandatory $2 per metric of marine fuel consumed by every ship.

The March 10 proposal includes a new draft Chapter 6 to Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention. It also addresses various legal operational, administrative, legal and governance aspects put forward by governments at last November’s 75th Session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC75), when the proposal was first considered.

In addition to the nation’s listed above, the proposal is also co-sponsored by all the world’s major international shipowners’ associations, including BIMCO, Cruise Lines International Association, IMCA, INTERCARGO, INTERFERRY, International Chamber of Shipping, INTERTANKO, IPTA and World Shipping Council.

Shipping’s share of global CO2 emissions increased to 2.89% in 2018, up from 2.76% in 2012, when global CO2 emissions were last quantified.

The IMO has set an initial strategy to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from ships by half by 2050, compared to 2008 levels.