The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents the global shipping industry, is calling on governments at the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) to take decisive action to achieve a net-carbon future. This call comes ahead of an important meeting scheduled for July.
Shipowners are calling on member states to show greater ambition by providing a clear direction to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. However, the ICS emphasizes that a goal is only part of the journey; Equally important are the tools necessary to achieve this goal.
In preparation for upcoming IMO negotiations during the July meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80), the ICS presented detailed proposals to support the development of a global fuel standard to serve as a technical measure to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). Intensity of marine fuels. The initial target is a 5% reduction by 2030, followed by a tightening of this standard after 2030. The ICS emphasizes the need to engage industry experts to ensure the standard’s practical applicability.
The IMO has already implemented an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, which was published in 2018. This strategy, to be revised during MEPC 80, aims to achieve a reduction in the industry’s total greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels.
Simon Bennett, Deputy Secretary General of the ICS, stresses the need for a comprehensive approach: “One fuel standard alone will not succeed. It must be backed by radical economic action that will work globally to incentivize the production and use of low- and zero-greenhouse gas fuels necessary to make the transition to net-zero accelerate.”
Shipping remains the most carbon-efficient way of transporting goods, accounting for about 90% of world trade. However, it is crucial to address the industry’s 3 percent contribution to global carbon emissions.
ICS and its members are optimistic that governments will set a net-zero target, which will give power producers and marine fuel suppliers a signal to move forward. However, the ICS considers the decisions that governments urgently need to make with regard to supporting measures to be even more critical.
Bennett says shipowners are ready to contribute to a multibillion-dollar global fund aimed at narrowing the cost gap between conventional heating oil and the more expensive zero-greenhouse fuels once they become available. The ICS proposes a “fund and reward” mechanism that would ensure fair distribution while allowing developing countries to use the funds generated for future infrastructure development and incentivize early adopters.
While many governments recognize the industry’s proposals, developing countries’ concerns about the additional cost of marine fuel must be addressed. According to ICS, if structured properly, the IMO Fund can open up opportunities for all stakeholders.
Real regulations and meaningful incentives are essential to produce significant amounts of low and zero greenhouse gas fuels such as methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, sustainable biofuels and synthetic fuels. This includes the development of new technologies such as carbon capture. Providing direction is important, but it must be accompanied by the tools necessary to make progress.
“Governments have an opportunity this July to come together and chart a clear, unambiguous course for a net-zero future,” Bennet said. “Industry has provided the necessary tools to achieve this goal. A mandatory fuel standard with a ‘fund and reward’ measure will open up opportunities for all and ensure we meet our goal. A journey begins with a single step.”