The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has endorsed the industry's goal of net zero emissions by 2050, laying out a roadmap to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The declaration, made before of the COP26 summit, sees the industry representing body's objectives for CO2 emissions reductions doubled, from 50% to net zero, and is detailed in a document to the IMO that lays out the urgent steps that governments must take if this target is to be realized.
"Talk is cheap, and action is difficult. So, our net zero offering sets out the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’ for decarbonising shipping by 2050. We’re saying to governments that if they really want to reach net zero, they need to move from empty commitments to tangible action," said Esben Poulsson, Chairman of ICS, noting that the net-zero target is achievable but only with government support.
"A net zero carbon ambition is achievable by 2050. But only provided governments take the unglamorous but urgent decisions needed to manage this process within a global regulatory framework."
If the more ambitious 2050 objectives are to be met, the report emphasizes the necessity to adopt the urgent actions necessary to accelerate and expedite a rise in Technology Readiness Levels by 2030. It would be if the accelerated objectives were met.
ICS noted that approving the establishment of the US$5 billion IMO Maritime Research Fund (IMRF) at a critical IMO meeting this November, just two weeks after COP 26 is key to pushing forward this goal.
"We have expended a great deal of senior industry leaders time deliberating and analysing the most effective and equitable proposals to ensure that we can decarbonise our industry quickly and effectively," said John Adams, chairman of the ICS GHG measures working group. "If adopted by governments at the IMO, these measures could lead to regulation that will swiftly move the shipping sector and associated industries towards a zero-carbon future."
"Governments can make a huge statement of their intent to get behind this new timeline by approving the industry’s proposed $5bn R&D fund in November at the IMO."
Aside from this, ICS also earlier proposed a broader carbon levy for the maritime industry, which will be considered by IMO Member States at a meeting this month.
"This is a unique case of an industry demanding to be more tightly regulated on carbon emissions, and putting its hand up to do the grunt work of getting there. We’re not trying to win headlines – we’re trying to reach net zero," said Guy Platten, Secretary General, ICS.
"If a net zero target is to be more than a political gesture, governments need to recognise the magnitude of the challenge of phasing-out CO2 emissions from large oceangoing ships. Only these proposed measures can tackle the innovation and knowledge gap, and challenges of a global equitable transition, that shipping’s decarbonisation presents," he added.