Denmark has joined a growing list of major shipping nations supporting a ‘moon-shot’ programme, aiming to drive the complete decarbonization of maritime transport.
Submitted to the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on the 10th March 2021, the proposed creation of a $5 billion USD International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) was co-sponsored by major shipping nations, including:
As explained, this new $5 billion USD Fund will support a new International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) to commission collaborative programmes for the applied research and development R&D of zero-carbon technologies, specifically tailored for maritime application, including development of working prototypes. It will also assist CO2 reduction projects in developing countries, including Pacific island nations.
The proposal is based on the fact that decarbonization can only take place with a significant acceleration of R&D, as zero-carbon technologies do not yet exist that can be applied at scale to large ocean-going ships.
Denmark became tha latest country to support this programme, meaning that nations controlling some 42% of world shipping have now given it public support, with many other nations, such as the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, expected to support the proposal during the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee in June.
What is more, Demark is also one of three major EU maritime nations to co-sponsor this proposal which, along with Greece and Malta, collectedly control the majority of EU shipping.
The support of the ‘moon-shot’ programme by Denmark, comes amid rising confidence that the fund is a vital element in the transition of shipping. It is also believed that it represents a realistic pathway for the development of necessary technologies to decarbonize the sector, as it is a mature regulatory proposal that can be adopted by the IMO more or less immediately. In order for this to happen, the political will of other governments is necessary.
We very much welcome that Denmark co-sponsors this proposal. Denmark plays an important role in IMO and with the Danish shipping industry taking the lead in striving towards zero CO2 emissions by 2050, our government’s support is essential for the transition which lies ahead of our industry
stated Jacob Meldgaard, Chairman, Danish Shipping.
In 2020, Denmark’s major political parties agreed to the first part of a radical climate action plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% in 2030 and 100% by 2050. Danish Shipping has also estabished an ambitious goal of being CO2-neutral by 2050.
Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping, commented on the occassion:
The level of support received for this well thought through and detailed proposal is encouraging. We are going to need this moon-shot style level of investment if we are to develop the technologies in time to meet the challenge of decarbonisation set out by UN Secretary General Guterres. We hope that he might even be in a position to announce this formally at COP26 later this year
Representatives of world shipping, who have put forward the decarbonisation programme to the UN, hope this development to be a signal to other governments to the join the programme.