Shipping industry calls for $ 5 billion decarbonization fund


Container ship at the Port of Felixstowe (file image)

Posted on June 14, 2021 at 4:04 PM by

The maritime executive

The shipowners’ organizations of the Group of Seven (G7) countries have pledged to lead the creation of a $ 5 billion research and development (R&D) decarbonisation fund and have called for contributions from governments.

The “maritime seven” (M7) include the G7 shipowners’ associations plus those of Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea. Together, they called on governments around the world to support the fund, which would finance the development of technologies for a cleaner and greener maritime industry.

“We fully support the need to decarbonize and if the industry is to achieve its goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, large-scale investments in research and development are needed because without it we simply will not have not the technologies necessary for the greener and the cleanest. the shipping industry we all want, ”said John Denholm, President of the UK Chamber of Shipping after an M7 meeting.

The campaign for the fund follows the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, where leaders of the world’s largest economies pledged to protect the planet by supporting a green revolution that creates jobs, cuts emissions and seeks to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees.

Leaders also pledged to net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, halving collective emissions over the two decades to 2030, increasing and improving climate finance, and retaining or protecting at least 30 % of land and oceans by 2030.

“In our transport sectors, we are committed to sustainable and carbon-free mobility and to developing zero-emission vehicle technologies, including buses, trains, shipping and aviation,” said G7 leaders in a joint press release.

While funding has been identified as one of the major challenges in decarbonizing the shipping industry, governments, businesses and industry stakeholders have been reluctant to commit funds for R&D, despite repeated calls for the creation of a fund. The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) has independently established a $ 90 million fund for a decarbonisation center and funding for R&D projects.

Despite being responsible for 90% of global trade, the shipping industry is increasingly criticized for being one of the biggest emitters of carbon. Studies by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) show that the industry emits around 940 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and is responsible for around 2.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions .

Emissions are expected to increase significantly if mitigation measures are not put in place quickly. In a business-as-usual scenario, emissions from shipping could increase by 50% to 250% by 2050, undermining the goals of the Paris Agreement.

To avoid this situation, IMO has adopted a strategy to reduce GHG emissions from ships with the objective of reducing total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008.

The drive to make the shipping industry cleaner is gaining momentum: recently a group of 23 leading shipping companies and organizations signed a memorandum of understanding for a ‘joint study’ to look at common issues related to ammonia as an alternative marine fuel. New alternatives like green ammonia and green methanol will be needed to meet IMO decarbonization goals.

The study also aims to support the development of ammonia-fueled vessels and the development of a global ammonia supply chain.

“Ammonia is seen as a promising future fuel for marine transportation from an emissions reduction and scalability perspective. However, security, technological maturity and affordability remain key challenges that we must overcome, ”said Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, Vice President of Marine Fuels at TotalEnergies.


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