The global maritime transport industry is working together to do its bit for the climate and reduce the CO2 emissions created by international freight.
The British International Freight Association (BIFA) revealed that the sector has proposed creating the world’s first collaborative shipping research and development (R&D) programme. Under the proposal, shipping firms from around the world would contribute funding, which would be used to find ways of eliminating CO2 emissions from international shipping.
Creating a non-governmental R&D organisation to lead the way with the decarbonisation of the international shipping industry is the cornerstone of the proposal.
It also revealed how it expects this to be funded - via the world’s core shipping companies. In total it would be looking for around £5 billion over the course of the next ten years.
One of the main aims is to make zero-carbon emission ships commercially viable by 2030, which would have a significant positive impact on the environment.
As BIFA noted, the global shipping industry is responsible for approximately two per cent of the world’s anthropogenic CO2 emissions, as well as carrying around 90 per cent of trade around the world.
The UN International Maritime Organisation (IMO) sets out the targets for carbon reduction for the global shipping industry and it’s essential that the sector acts quickly to do its part to tackle the world’s climate emergency.
Current IMO targets require the global shipping industry to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, regardless of trade growth, with full decarbonisation required shortly after. Because of these ambitious targets, it’s essential for the sector to act now to develop the technology required to make this possible.
The new R&D organisation being proposed would be overseen by IMO member states, although BIFA revealed that those currently involved in setting it up are keen for other stakeholders to get involved.
Leading international shipowners’ associations are at the forefront of the organisation’s creation, but are hoping that other stakeholders will want to get involved and contribute, which could result in additional funding to help move R&D activities forward.
Guy Patten, secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping, commented: “We must not leave it to others to carry the burden of addressing the climate crisis. Nor will we ask others to decide the future of maritime. We embrace our responsibility and we ask the world’s governments to support our efforts.”
Eight international shipowner associations have come together to make this proposal, and collectively they represent over 90 per cent of the world merchant fleet, covering all sectors and trades.
Earlier this month, the Guardian reported that the emissions from the shipping industry are undermining the ability of countries in Europe to reduce their CO2 emissions in a meaningful way.
The newspaper revealed that in France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, the UK and Finland, CO2 emissions from shipping in 2018 were greater than the emissions from all passenger cars registered in the largest ten cities in each country.
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