ICS recommends creating $5bn R&D programme to cut carbon emissions

18 December 2019 (Last Updated December 18th, 2019 14:25)

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has proposed to create a $5bn research and development (R&D) board to eliminate CO₂ emissions from the shipping industry.

ICS recommends creating $5bn R&D programme to cut carbon emissions
ICS plans to enforce a $2 tax for a tonne of marine fuel to fund zero-emission ships. Credit: International Chamber of Shipping.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has proposed to create a $5bn research and development (R&D) board to eliminate CO₂ emissions from the shipping industry.

According to the plan suggested by the ICS, each shipping company will have to pay $2 a tonne on marine fuel consumption to fund the project.

The mandatory contribution will help to collect approximately $500m a year. Over the next ten years, $5bn in R&D fund could be raised to support the development of zero-emission ships.

The non-governmental R&D organisation will be called International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB).

Governed by the IMO Member States, IMRB will focus on accelerating the development of commercially viable zero-carbon emission ships by the early 2030s.

ICS deputy secretary-general Simon Bennett said: “Even using conservative estimates for trade growth, a 50% total cut in CO₂ by 2050 can only be achieved by improving the carbon efficiency of the world fleet by around 90%.

“This will only be possible if a large proportion of the fleet is using commercially viable zero-carbon fuels. In practice, if the 50% target is achieved, with a large proportion of the fleet using zero-carbon fuels by 2050, the entire world fleet would also be using these fuels very shortly after, making 100% decarbonisation possible, which is the industry’s goal.”

According to an estimate, international maritime transport is contributing approximately 2% of greenhouse gas emissions across the world.

The UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) aims to meet the Paris Agreement’s climate change goals. IMO is responsible for reducing global shipping sector CO₂ emissions and has set targets to cut shipping emissions by 50% by 2050.

ICS represents approximately 80% of the global shipping industry.