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International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) to stage major shipping conference at COP26

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has confirmed that it will be holding its Annual Conference on Saturday, 14 November 2020 at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

5 February 2020

The announcement recognises the importance that the board of ICS places on addressing climate change. Meeting in London, on the same day (4 February) as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte and with celebrated naturalist David Attenborough announced plans for COP26, the ICS board reaffirmed that industries and citizens must work together to create effective and achievable steps to address climate change.

Esben Poulsson, Chairman of ICS said: “The International Chamber of Shipping’s members takes their responsibility to limit the shipping industry’s emissions extremely seriously. This is why we, along with other industry bodies, submitted plans to the international regulator – the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) – to place a $2 levy on every tonne of ships’ fuel purchased. This amount was carefully chosen to be acceptable to developing nations. We understand that climate change can only be tackled through truly international cooperation, something that is intrinsic to shipping.

“Staging our annual conference during COP26 will provide an opportunity for us to bring the shipping industry and the wider supply chain together to seek the solutions that will lead to the decarbonisation of global shipping.”

The proposed levy will create a $5bn R&D fund over a 10-year period and will accelerate the development of commercially viable zero-carbon emission ships by the early 2030s. This is the first major R&D initiative of its kind to be proposed by a sector on a global basis. We firmly believe it can provide a framework for other industries to decarbonise.

The fund does not act as a Market Based Measure (MBM) or ‘carbon tax’. The purpose of the proposal is simply to accelerate development of low-carbon and zero carbon technologies and fuels for use in the commercial maritime sector. The proposal is not intended to frustrate or delay the development of an MBM, and we believe that our proposal could form the architecture of a future levy-based MBM for shipping, that would reduce the risk of market distortion.

ICS will be organising its annual conference alongside the COP26 meeting to provide a platform for the global shipping industry to work on practical solutions and to take forward plans for the R&D Fund. It is hoped that the fund with facilitate technological advancements that go far beyond the shipping industry, and go some way to addressing the global issue of climate change. Approving the plan to host its conference at COP26 reinforces the boards aim to seek productive working relationships with all national Governments in addressing climate change.