Ship emissions. File Image. Image Credit: Ship & Bunker.
Industry bodies representing over 90% of the world merchant fleet have proposed putting a mandatory $2/mt levy on marine fuel purchased for consumption to help eliminate CO2 emissions from international shipping.
Presuming global bunker consumption volume remained at least 250 million mt/year, the levy would generate approximately USD 5 billion over a 10-year period with the monies used to establish and fund an International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) and IMO GHG reduction research and development programme.
The proposal has been presented to the IMO jointly by BIMCO, Cruise Lines International Association, Intercargo, Interferry, International Chamber of Shipping, Intertanko, International Parcel Tankers Association, and World Shipping Council.
The technologies necessary to achieve the current GHG goals do not yet exist
It will be discussed in March 2020 as part of MEPC 75
The proposal's sponsors says they consider the creation of such a fund "critical to achieving the levels of ambition for 2050 and beyond" which is to reduce shipping's GHG emissions 50% in absolute terms by 2050 compared to 2008 levels, and phase out emissions completely as soon as possible.
"An effort of this scale is expected to be successful in identifying one or more technical pathways that can lead to the introduction of zero-emission vessels across the maritime sector by 2030 and beyond," it adds, providing that the programme be put in place by 2023.
"The technologies necessary to achieve the current GHG goals do not yet exist in a form or scale which is commercially viable for widespread use by international shipping, especially for transoceanic voyages."
News of the proposal has been welcomed by others in the industry, including the UK Chamber of Shipping.
"This new multi-billion-dollar fund is a game-changing development. It shows just how serious the industry is about reducing its emissions and tackling climate change," said the Chamber's Chief Executive, Bob Sanguinetti.
"It is a huge step in the right direction to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050."
A copy of the full proposal can be found here.