The levies will go to the IMO Maritime Research Fund created for the decarbonisation mission
The shipping industry’s proposal to impose $2/mt of levy for bunker fuel purchase proposed last year garnered eight more nations’ backing. Proceeds from the $2/mt levy on marine fuel purchases will go to a $5 billion fund for the research and development (R&D) of zero-carbon marine fuels. The IMO’s fund would be supervised and managed by a new International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB). Chief executive of UK’s Chamber of Shipping remarked: “this new multi-billion-dollar fund is a game-changing development. It shows how serious the industry is about reducing its emission and tackling climate change.”
Collective support from various nations
BIMCO revealed in its statement that Georgia, Greece, Japan, Liberia, Malta, Nigeria, Singapore, and Switzerland had expressed their support towards the measure and a variety of shipping industry groups.
“This new US$5 billion Fund will support a new International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) to commission collaborative programmes for the applied R&D of zero-carbon technologies, specifically tailored for maritime application, including the development of working prototype. It will also assist CO2 reduction projects in developing countries, including the Pacific island nations. Zero-emission ocean-going ships deployed at the scale required by 2030 will be near impossible if this proposal is not supported by UN IMO member states,” BIMCO said in their statement.
BIMCO agreed decarbonisation can only take place with a significant acceleration of R&D, as zero-carbon technologies have yet to exist that apply to large ocean-going ships. A well-funded R&D programme, which the industry has agreed to pay for within a global regulatory framework, needs to commence immediately under UN IMO’s supervision. Recognising the urgency and ambition required for decarbonising, the shipping industry groups appeal to all governments to be on the right side of history to support this ambitious proposal.
International shipping transports more than 80 per cent of global trade and emits 2 per cent of global emissions. The big challenge is not building a single zero carbon ship, but creating the technologies required to decarbonise the entire global fleet at speed and scale. The sooner the IMO Maritime Research Fund is established, the sooner the commencement of developing zero-emission ships to decarbonise maritime transport.