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Press Release

‘Missed opportunity’ to decarbonise shipping at MEPC 77, says ICS

26 November 2021
IMO London headquarters. Credit: IMO

London, 26 November 2021: Following the conclusion of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 77, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have released the following statement:

ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten, said: 

“We are disappointed that the words and commitments made by governments at COP26 have not yet been translated into action. This week’s meetings have missed the opportunity to take forward a range of GHG reduction measures which would accelerate the development of zero emissions ships that are urgently needed at scale to decarbonise our sector. It’s almost as if COP 26 never happened.

“Governments can’t keep kicking the can down the road; every delay moves us further away from reaching pressing climate goals. We will continue to work with governments to agree to the suite of measures which the industry has proposed, including the 5 billion dollar R&D fund as an immediate step to be followed by a levy based carbon price for shipping. The adoption of both these measures will be the only way to deliver on net zero emissions from shipping by 2050 while ensuring an equitable transition that leaves no one behind.

“The message from the industry at COP26 was clear; time is running out and we must do everything in our power to decarbonise now. Industry will continue to press IMO to act as the importance of addressing climate change is too great to give up on.

“There was a clear recognition from many more countries that there is an urgent need to significantly increase R&D spending. But we are disappointed that insufficient time was dedicated to allow IMO Member States to take a decision on the 5 billion dollar fund at this session.

“All we are asking is for governments to let business to get on and do the things that need to be done. We are not even asking for money or the type of subsidies that other sectors receive. This is a no brainer at a time when we do not have time to prevaricate.

“The IMO Maritime Research Fund is the only proposal on the table ready for immediate agreement. If it is not taken forward soon, we fear this will signal to the world, following COP 26, that IMO is no longer truly serious about maintaining its leadership on GHG issues and that others may then move in to fill the vacuum. We will continue to work with governments to ensure that concerns are address so that this fund can be implemented as soon as possible.”