Shipping groups renew their call for a carbon tax to finance R&D on decarbonization
Ahead of President Biden’s climate summit, several of the leading shipping organizations re-emphasize their $ 5 billion research and development fund proposals as part of an IMO-led initiative to tackle decarbonization . Taking advantage of the leadership summit that begins tomorrow, and which they see as a precursor to the UN COP26 climate conference and the meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee, maritime organizations are calling for a accelerating efforts using market-based mechanisms (MBMs) to help decarbonise global shipping.
Shipping associations, including BIMCO, Cruise Lines International Association, the International Chamber of Navigation and the World Shipping Council, which collectively represent all sectors and trades and over 90% of the global merchant fleet, call on governments to initiate discussions on carbon. forward pricing so that they can be considered in conjunction with the proposals for the R&D fund.
“The decarbonization of international maritime transport will depend on non-sector stakeholders developing commercially available zero carbon technologies and fuels and the maritime sector will need the technologies to use them,” the organizations write in the joint statement. “The urgency of the challenge requires leadership and a properly coordinated approach to catalyze and encourage the transition to a zero emissions sector.”
Maritime organizations say they believe the time has come for IMO member states to consider the role of MBMs, so that measures can be developed and implemented to facilitate the adoption of zero carbon technologies and commercially viable zero carbon ships. Their plan calls on MBMs to put a price on CO2 emissions to incent the sector to reduce emissions by closing the price gap between fossil fuels and zero carbon fuels.
“Fair and equitable MBMs are a viable policy option for switching to the new fuels and technologies that will be needed to phase out GHG emissions in the sector,” the statement says. “We join with industry colleagues in urging the United Nations and national governments to prioritize discussions on MBMs to ensure shipping remains on track to meet vital decarbonization goals.”
Shipping associations reiterated their previous calls saying that these measures will be essential to encourage the transition of the global fleet to new fuels and technologies, which will be more expensive than those in use today.
For a pricing signal to work, the statement says there must be viable alternatives to fossil fuels. These alternatives do not yet exist for large ocean-going vessels, they said, renewing calls for an IMO-coordinated R&D fund – to be funded by industry – so that ocean-going vessels can switch to new fuels. .
Shipping groups demand that all MBMs be applied in a fair and equitable manner. They reiterated concerns that have been raised about unilateral carbon pricing systems, such as the EU’s proposed expansion of its ETS, which some observers see as a market-distorting solution to a global problem.