The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is backing the target of net zero emissions from the industry by 2050, setting out a pathway to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The announcement ahead of the COP26 meeting sees doubling of the industry representative body’s ambitions for CO2 emissions reduction from 50% to net zero and is set out in a paper to the IMO which makes clear the actions governments must take urgently if this goal is to be met.

Esben Poulsson, Chairman of ICS, said: “Talk is cheap, and action is difficult. So, our net zero offering sets out the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’ for decarbonising shipping by 2050. We’re saying to governments that if they really want to reach net zero, they need to move from empty commitments to tangible action.

“A net zero carbon ambition is achievable by 2050.  But only provided governments take the unglamorous but urgent decisions needed to manage this process within a global regulatory framework.”

The paper highlights the need to take the urgent measures required to accelerate and expedite an increase in Technology Readiness Levels by 2030 if the more ambitious 2050 targets are to be achieved. Meeting the accelerated targets would.

ICS said a key step would be for governments to approve the establishment of the $5bn IMO Maritime Research Fund (IMRF) at a critical IMO meeting this November, just two weeks after COP 26.

John Adams, Chairman of the ICS GHG measures working group said: “We have expended a great deal of senior industry leaders time deliberating and analysing the most effective and equitable proposals to ensure that we can decarbonise our industry quickly and effectively. If adopted by governments at the IMO, these measures could lead to regulation that will swiftly move the shipping sector and associated industries towards a zero-carbon future. 

“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.”

Further to the R&D fund earlier this year ICS made a proposal for a broader carbon levy for shipping, which will be considered by IMO Member States at a meeting in mid-October.

Guy Platten, Secretary General, ICS said, “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. We’re not trying to win headlines – we’re trying to reach net zero.”

Last month over 150 shipping companies and organisations, including many top industry names signed up to the Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization by the Global Maritime Forum calling on all on governments to work together with industry to deliver the policies and investments to achieve making zero emission shipping the default choice by 2030.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News