An industry proposal for a $5bn research fund to decarbonise shipping submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) last week is growing in support from shipping nations.

The proposal for the International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB), formulated by a  wide-range of industry bodies, was submitted to IMO on 10 March by Georgia, Greece, Japan, Liberia, Malta, Nigeria, Palau, Singapore, and Switzerland.

According to the World Shipping Council (WSC) Denmark has joined as co-sponsor and several other nations are expected to voice their support at the next IMO MEPC meeting in June. The aim is to get member nations of the IMO to approve the proposal at a critical meeting in November this year.

“The sponsoring nations have done a very thorough job, mapping out in detail the framework required to get the R&D programme up and running as quickly as possible. We are very pleased to see Denmark’s support, as one of the leading maritime nations. The IMRB is a crucial step on the path to decarbonise shipping, and we have no time to lose if we are to meet the UN climate goals,” said John Butler, CEO of WSC.

The $5bn Fund would support the IMRB to commission collaborative programmes for the applied research and development R&D of zero-carbon technologies to help shipping reach its decarbonisation targets.

The proposal was originally announced in December 2019 and backed is co-sponsored by all the major international shipping associations: Bimco, Cruise Lines International Association, IMCA, Intercargo, Interferry, International Chamber of Shipping, Intertanko, IPTA and WSC.

Source: Seatrade Maritime