The global shipping industry presented a proposal Tuesday (December 17, 2019) to set up its own global research and development fund to the tune of USD 5 billion (EUR 4.49 billion) over the next ten years. The aim is to put shipping on course for climate targets and to become carbon-free as soon as possible. The shipping industry’s proposal will be discussed by the members of the U.N.‘s International Maritime Organization (IMO) at the next meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in March 2020. The move comes after the German Shipowners’ Association pointed out that the shipping industry is responsible for about 2 per cent of man made CO2 emissions. Around 90 per cent of all goods worldwide are shipped to their destinations. Lower CO2 emissions are urgently needed to protect the climate and meet the requirements of the Paris Convention.
“The broad coalition of shipping associations behind this proposal demonstrates leadership. Innovation is urgently needed to develop the technologies to propel ships in future,” said Esben Poulsson, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). The associations want to fund a development and research organization and pave the way for zero-emission transport.
Halving CO2 emissions by 2050
As CO2 emissions in shipping cannot be attributed to individual states, IMO regulates the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in international shipping. Members of IMO agreed in 2018 on a common goal under which shipping would halve its global CO2 emissions by 2050 over levels in 2008, regardless of the increase in world trade. This would require making most carbon-free fuels, technologies and propulsion systems such as environment-friendly hydrogen available to large commercial vessels, which they cannot access at present.