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Shipping industry urges governments to act on USD 5 billion decarbonisation fund

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Shipping industry urges governments to act on USD 5 billion decarbonisation fund

June 18, 2020. For immediate release. The shipping industry has welcomed the growing momentum for a
USD 5 billion R&D Fund for shipping, but is calling on governments to act in line with their climate
commitments and not waste more time in moving forward with decisive action to support the
decarbonisation of the industry.

At the recent UN IMO meeting (MEPC 76), the world’s governments agreed to continue work on the IMOsupervised USD 5 billion R&D Fund programme, to be led by a new International Maritime Research and
Development Board (IMRB), with many nations stepping up to support the proposal. However, it is
disappointing that yet again we must wait for the next meeting before we can get going.

The USD 5 billion R&D programme is designed to accelerate the development and introduction of zeroemission technologies and fuels for maritime transport, which are vital for allowing the industry to

“The R&D fund has been thoroughly developed over the past three years. It is the only concrete proposal
on the table and can be agreed and put in place by 2023. Governments rightly call for innovation and for
decarbonisation to happen now. This is now, and we need IMO member states to move forward and allow
us to accelerate the R&D needed without further delay,” the industry organisations said.

The IMO has set targets to cut total shipping emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2050, with the United
States and the EU now calling for zero emissions shipping within the next 30 years. To succeed, the
industry needs zero-carbon ships, capable of trans-oceanic voyages, available by 2030. However,
technologies for operating deep-sea vessels on zero-carbon fuels are not yet available and current R&D
efforts are not sufficient.

“We urgently need to expand and accelerate R&D around zero-carbon technologies and fuels. But
innovation does not come for free. To catalyse innovation, the industry is willing to provide guaranteed
funding of 5 billion USD at no cost to governments, giving all nations equitable access to the work and the
technologies the fund advances. So, what are we waiting for?” the shipowner organisations said.
It is encouraging to see support for the R&D programme from additional nations. Now more engagement is
needed for concrete regulatory and technological progress. UN IMO General Secretary Kitack Lim has made
it clear: “Failure is not an option”. The wider world is watching, and it will be watching even more closely at
MEPC 77 and COP26.

“The R&D fund proposal is mature and ready for approval, and the industry has already committed to doing
the work needed to establish the fund, a payment system, and the funding necessary. We can do this now,
and for the sake of our climate and future generations, we must.”

We urge governments to approve the proposed amendments to Annex 6 of MARPOL at MEPC 77 in
November as the first concrete step forward in making the IMRB a much-needed reality to reduce GHG
emissions from shipping.

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