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LONDON: The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing 80 percent of the maritime market, says it wants governments to ensure the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopts a net-zero target by 2050.

Echoing a call by the aviation sector, the ICS says the goal will only be achievable if governments support a compulsory R&D fund to develop zero-carbon technologies and develop a carbon levy to pay for more expensive fuels.

The chamber says the levy will help close the price gap between zero-carbon and conventional fuels and provide the billions of dollars needed to deploy new bunkering infrastructure.

“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,” explained ICS chairman Esben Poulsson. “We’re saying to governments that if they really want to reach net-zero, they need to move from empty commitments to tangible action.

“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.”

Two weeks after the COP26 conference in Glasgow next month, an IMO meeting will discuss the adoption of a net-zero target to encourage governments, shipbuilders, energy providers, engine manufacturers and shipowners operate zero-emissions vessels by 2030.

ICS secretary general Guy Platten noted: “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.

“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,” he added.
 
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