The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represent the world’s biggest shipping companies, has recently set out its plan to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, doubling the current pledge of getting to 50 per cent less CO2 emissions.
ICS members have also stated that the industry cannot reach such ambitious targets by itself but will need help from governments and international organisations such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the UN agency in charge of regulating shipping.
The industry said that to achieve net-zero by 2050, carbon-neutral vessels will need to be a reality by 2030. This move will require governments to approve a $5bn IMO maritime research fund during the agency’s November meeting, two weeks after COP26.
Submitted to the IMO, the ICS’s plan includes research and development funds to develop net-zero technologies as well as a carbon levy to facilitate the industry-wide’s adoption of more expensive carbon-neutral fuels.
“This is a unique case of an industry demanding to be more tightly regulated on carbon emissions, and putting its hand up to do the grunt work of getting there,” commented ICS secretary general Guy Platten. “
ICS chairman Esben Poulsson said that net zero is achievable but “only provided governments take the unglamorous but urgent decisions needed to manage this process within a global regulatory framework.”
“Governments can make a huge statement of their intent to get behind this new timeline by approving the industry’s proposed $5bn R&D fund in November at the IMO,” said John Adams, chairman of the ICS greenhouse gas measures working group.
The revision of the IMO’s initial green house gas strategy that set the ambitions and targets for 2050 will take place in 2023, when IMO member states will adopt a revised strategy, where new targets might be defined. The UN agency said strategies and submissions will be discussed in due course.