IMO Member States Urged To ‘Take Aim’ at Shipping Decarbonization

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  • World Shipping Council urges IMO member states to not lose focus of the ultimate goal of decarbonizing shipping.
  • Radical GHG reductions will only come from identifying, developing, and deploying new fuels for shipping.
  • IMO Member States have the opportunity to take concrete action for climate, by supporting and fast-tracking the establishment of the International Maritime R&D Board.

Amid the criticism of the results of the IMO intercessional GHG working group, the World Shipping Council urges member states to not lose sight of the ultimate goal of decarbonizing shipping.

Failure on climate change

John Butler, CEO of World Shipping Council (WSC) says, “Whilst it is easy to criticize the outcome of the intercessional, it is worth remembering that anything short of a global solution represents long-term failure on climate change.

We need to stick with this hard work, but the task is urgent, and we must move further, faster. As long as our only fuel options are carbon based, GHG reductions will be limited. Efficiency is important, but it will not solve the problem,” he added.

GHG reductions

Radical GHG reductions will only come from identifying, developing, and deploying new fuels for shipping.

There are several potential solutions at various stages of investigation, but there are a host of questions that remain to be answered, including safety, storage, energy density, and perhaps most importantly how to generate these fuels without creating massive amounts of greenhouse gas in the process.

We must keep our eye on our ultimate goal of decarbonisation and accelerate research, development, and deployment of new fuels and technologies. The industry needs R&D at scale to make progress in time. To halve shipping emissions by 2050, we need zero carbon ships on the water in the early 2030s. We should have started ten years ago, so there is even more reason to act decisively now,” says John Butler.

Efforts to decarbonize shipping

At MEPC 75, IMO Member States have the opportunity to take concrete action for our climate, by supporting and fast-tracking the establishment of the International Maritime Research and Development Board, or IMRB (MEPC 75/7/4).

With USD 5 billion in core funding over a 10-year period, generated from industry contributions, the IMRB will create the technological and investment certainty to spur innovators, engineers, energy companies, shipyards, financial institutions, and engine manufacturers to accelerate the R&D effort required to decarbonise shipping.

The IMRB would put shipping in a position to attract the brain power, additional resources and political engagement needed to deploy commercially viable zero-carbon ships by the early 2030s.  There is a detailed proposal on the table, ready to go. It’s not the only step that we have to take, but if we don’t take this step, we stand little chance of reaching our decarbonisation objectives,” concludes John Butler.

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Source: World Shipping Council

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