Set carbon price, says shipping sector

“The industry is encouraging the world’s largest economies to expand and accelerate applied research and development efforts,” the submission said.

For the first time, the International Chamber of Shipping and other groups representing over 90 per cent of maritime trade are asking the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions.

In a joint submission to the world organisation, ahead of the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by US President Joe Biden, the industry called for deliberations on how mandatory market-based pricing measures could be used to incentivise a shift away from carbon-heavy marine fuels. This is to eliminate the 2 per cent of all global carbon dioxide emissions the sector accounts for. It wanted the discussions as soon as possible and before 2023.

“While there are short-term greenhouse gas reduction measures, the magnitude of the challenge… requires… discussions of critical measures in parallel, and not in a linear sequence… to move forward with the urgency that the challenge of decarbonising shipping requires.” The IMO has set a target to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by at least 50 per cent by 2050, and to achieve zero emissions as soon as possible within this century. But the adoption of zero-carbon technologies and commercially viable zero-carbon ships remains out of reach.

The signatories, including international shipowner groups such as Cruise Lines International Association and World Shipping Council, said that this was in part due to the lack of pricing signals.

They called for a US$5 billion (S$6.6 billion) fund to provide the research and development needed to make zero-carbon technologies more commercially viable.

“The industry is encouraging the world’s largest economies to expand and accelerate applied research and development efforts,” the submission said.

There are concerns that higher prices for carbon dioxide emissions will make shipping, which transports 80 to 85 per cent of the world’s goods, too expensive. The industry players said that any hikes should be “fair and equitable”.

Yesterday, an International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonisation, set up by the Singapore Maritime Foundation last year, also made recommendations, including carbon pricing and greater support for research into cleaner marine fuels.
(Source: The Straits Times)