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IMO Maritime Research Fund (IMRF) planning on the table now

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US$1.5 million requested to quicken IMRF’s creation – taken off GCF Project Preparation Facility (PPF)

Representatives from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) met to discuss funding options for the proposed US$5 billion IMO Maritime Research Fund (IMRF).

US$1.5 billion to kickstart a US$5 billion fund
A key objective of the meeting was to develop potential solutions to ensure that developing economies from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Pacific have access to the technologies and funding for carbon-neutral ships, as well as its required infrastructure.

The US$ 1.5 million would be from the PPF to quicken the creation of the US$5 billion IMRF; a research and development (R&D) fund to accelerate research and develop zero emission technologies for shipping. The proposal will be formulated by a GCF entity, with an aim to finance the feasibility and governance work required to set up the IMRF fund the soonest it is approved by the IMO. The IMRF proposal would provide guaranteed levels of funding to all member countries at no cost to taxpayers and accelerate the production of zero emission ships.

The IMO is due to review a proposal to form a US$5 billion R&D programme at its next Marine Environment Protection Committee in November 2021. This US$5 billion fund would be overseen by IMO and financed through a mandated R&D contribution by shipowners at US$2 per tonne of marine fuel consumed. The shipping industry reportedly wanted the fund in place by 2023.

Javier Manzanares, Deputy Executive Director from GCF said, “GCF supports emissions reduction within the maritime industry. The fund could provide access to climate technologies for developing countries to reduce CO2 footprints in the shipping industry. GCF is proud to participate in this initiative, and welcomes moves to foster innovation that will drive the climate transformation for the maritime industry.”

Guy Platten, Secretary General from ICS added, “This fund would not affect taxes and would provide an avenue which could be leveraged by industry and governments. I am grateful to GCF for their attention to the initiatives highlighted at COP26, as well as their interest in supporting the IMRF, particularly for developing countries.” The meeting will also discuss the possibility of GCF providing additional support to developing economies to attract match-funding, which could significantly enhance R&D funds available for developing economies.


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