Shipping industry proposes $5 billion fund to develop cleaner technology

With 90% of the world’s trade being transported by sea, the Global shipping industry contributes around 2.2% of the world’s CO2 emissions. In order to cut down emission levels, shipping associations have proposed creating a research fund. They have already raised $5 billion to develop technology to help the sector comply with U.N. emission targets.

On Wednesday, international shipping associations have called for a mandatory contribution of $2 per ton on fuel used by ships to raise monies for a research fund to help develop cleaner technology for the industry.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the U.N. shipping agency, has set a high target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050 for the industry.

According to Simon Bennett, deputy secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping, a contribution of $2 per ton fuel will raise about $5 billion over 10 years, based on fuel consumption by the world’s fleet of about 250 million tonnes a year.

“We can’t exaggerate the pressure we are under if we are going to meet the IMO 2050 targets. We really have very little time,” said Bennett. “Ship owners are increasingly realizing that we have to really get on with this now.”

Once the fund receives the backing of IMO member states, it could set in place by 2023, said officials.

The proposal is scheduled to be discussed by the U.N.’s Marine Environment Protection Committee at its next meeting at the end of March.

“Research and development will be crucial, as the targets agreed in the IMO initial strategy will not be met using fossil fuels,” said IMO’s spokesperson.

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