The Asian Shipowners’ Association strongly supports industry efforts to reduce emissions from international shipping. The ASA further maintains that the only way to achieve ambitious net zero targets would be through the adoption of the IMO Maritime Research Fund (IMRF), which will guarantee funding for the R&D necessary to accelerate the development of zero emission ships.
The IMRF, which will be funded by mandatory R&D contributions from shipowners globally via a levy on actual fuel consumed, will be the most efficient tool to decarbonise the industry – because these are fixed contributions that demonstrate industry’s commitment to decarbonisation, they offer a measure of stability to support for R&D efforts and will be relatively insulated from external shocks that may result in increased volatility in carbon markets.
In addition, the IMRF, which will be administered by a diverse and representative board, could also have the flexibility to allocate a portion of the funds collected to support direct mitigation for states that are most affected by climate change.
To further expedite the transition to net zero, the IMRF could also be considered in conjunction with a broader carbon levy for international shipping to help narrow the gap between conventional and zero-carbon fuels and support IMO member states’ efforts to develop and deploy the infrastructure that will be necessary to support a zero-carbon fleet.
“The IMRF is a demonstration of industry’s long-term commitment to decarbonisation,” said Ms. Caroline Yang, Chair of the ASA SNEC. “It can be applied fairly to a global industry, is directly linked to the amount of fuel consumed and therefore carbon emitted. Furthermore, as a long-term measure, the IMRF will be relatively resistant to short-term shifts in policy and market volatility, which is increasingly important as the events of the past few weeks have shown.