ICS urges IMO member states to agree on a net zero target by 2050

GLOBAL: ICS urges IMO member states to agree on a net zero target by 2050

The International Chamber of Shipping’s proposals submitted for consideration at the next meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) in July include setting a net zero emissions target for 2050 (rather than the International Maritime Organizations’s (IMO) current ambition of a 50% reduction) and supporting the development of a Global Fuel Standard as a technical measure to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of marine fuels.

Such a fuel standard would target a 5% GHG intensity reduction by 2030, followed by ‘an aggressive tightening’ of the target after this date.

As Simon Bennett, ICS Deputy Secretary General, explained: ‘A fuel standard will not succeed on its own. It has to be supported by a radical economic measure, which will operate across the world to incentivise the production and uptake of the low and zero GHG fuels necessary to accelerate transition to a net zero destination.”

‘Shipping remains the most carbon efficient way to transport the goods that we all use, with about 90% of world trade carried by sea. However, being efficient does not mean we must not work to address the 3% shipping contributes to global carbon emissions. We all have a role to play in decarbonisation.

‘ICS, and its members, are optimistic that governments will set a net zero target which sends a signal to energy producers and marine fuel suppliers, charting the direction of travel. ICS argues however that far more critical are the decisions that governments must now urgently take about the measures which will enable the end destination.’

Bennett continued: ‘Shipowners are willing to pay into a multi-billion-dollar global fund, which if structured correctly, will reduce the cost gap between conventional fuel oil and the much more expensive zero GHG fuels as they begin to become available.

‘The ICS “Fund and Reward” mechanism is an equitable measure that will also ensure developing countries can use some of the billions of dollars that would be generated each year, from shipowner contributions, to create the infrastructure of the future while incentivising first movers to act.’

Bennett noted that the production of low and zero carbon fuels, such as methanol, ammonia, hydrogen and sustainable biofuels, as well as new technologies such as carbon capture, ‘is going to take real world regulation and meaningful incentives, not just the adoption of a new GHG reduction target.

‘Setting a direction of travel is important, but without the tools to get there it becomes meaningless aspiration,’ he said.

Image: Shutterstock

Lesley Bankes-Hughes