A new submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) addressing outstanding concerns related to intellectual property rights (IPR), strengthened R&D collaboration between developed and developing countries, and geographic representation in the Board of Directors governing the proposed decarbonization fund has been submitted.
In November 2021, during the MEPC 77, there was increasing support for the decarbonization fund among governments. Addressing points raised during the session, the group of countries and industry organizations behind the proposed fund has submitted a concrete text to the IMO ahead of the upcoming MEPC 78 meeting in June.
To remind, the MEPC 77 agreed to revise the Initial IMO Strategy of 2018 in a bid to speed up decarbonization efforts, considered as a successful outcome by IMO, but this revision will not be adopted earlier than 2023, which has been seen as a “missed opportunity” by global shipping stakeholders.
Currently, the charter of the R&D fund is suggested to include clauses that ensure that intellectual property rights are guarded in the projects receiving financial support, while recognizing that transparency and knowledge-sharing are critical to ensure success.
The importance and urgency of the establishment of an R&D fund is documented by the reference to a study outlining more than 260 R&D projects in need of funding to support improvement of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of zero-carbon technologies.
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