London – The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents 80% of the world’s merchant fleet, today announced proposals to accelerate the maritime sector’s transition to net zero by financially rewarding ships and energy producers that invest in low/net zero emission fuels.
In a paper to shipping’s UN regulator, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), ICS proposes a ‘fund a reward’ system to catalyse the adoption of alternative fuels, which currently cost at least two or three times more than conventional marine fuel.
The ICS fund and reward (F&R) proposal combines elements of various recent GHG reduction proposals from a number of governments, plus a flat rate contribution system previously proposed by ICS and INTERCARGO, and ideas recently put forward for a global IMO measure by the EU 27.
ICS’s chairman, Emanuele Grimaldi, added: “With the ICS fund and reward proposal, IMO member states have a new but very short window of opportunity to put in place a global economic measure which can kick start the development and production of alternative fuels for shipping. To achieve net zero mid-century, these new fuels must start to become available in significant quantities on a commercial basis no later than about 2030.
“Compromise is always difficult but, in any negotiation, having a proposal like this can enable everyone to come together. I hope this proposal will act as a bridge between the climate ambitions of both developed and developing countries so that no part of the global shipping industry will be left behind.”
The reward rate would be calculated based on CO2 emissions prevented, and funded via a mandatory flat rate contribution from ships per tonne of CO2 emitted. The industry body said that the ‘fund and reward’ system could be established by 2024, if governments can agree on the regulatory framework at the IMO.
ICS proposes that contributions from the global fleet be gathered in an “International Maritime Sustainability Fund”. Such a fund, the body said, could raise billions of dollars annually, which would then be committed both to narrowing the price gap, globally, between existing high carbon marine fuels and alternative fuels, as well as supporting much needed investment in developing nations for the production of new marine fuels and bunkering infrastructure.
The fund would reward ships according to annual reporting of the CO2 emissions prevented by the use of “eligible alternative fuels”. For example, a ship powered by ammonia (among many other alternative fuels including methanol, hydrogen, sustainable biofuels and synthetic fuels) could receive a cost saving of more than 1.5 million USD annually.
Coming ahead of COP 27, this new industry proposal is relevant in the context of the total CO2 emissions from international shipping – regarded as a ‘hard to abate’ sector – which account for between 2 and 3 per cent of the world economy’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
The ICS proposal for a fund and reward (F&R) measure, will be discussed in December 2022 after COP 27 and ahead of the next IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee in London. (Image from ICS)