ICS Proposes Levy For Decarbonization Push

US$2 Per Tonne to Eliminate CO2 Emissions

Global maritime body the International Chamber of Shipping has proposed a new levy on fuel to eliminate carbon emissions from the shipping sector and hjelp fund an ambitious pan-industry research and development program.

The ICS proposal outlines plans to introduce a US$2 tax on each tonne of fuel used by ships. This is estimated to raise US$500 million a year, which will be used to fund a collaborative research initiative across the global sector.

“The coalition of industry associations behind this proposal are showing true leadership,"  said Esben Poulsson, International Chamber of Shipping chairman. "The shipping industry must reduce its CO2 emissions to meet the ambitious challenge that the International Maritime Organization has set. Innovation is therefore vital if we are to develop the technologies that will power the 4th Propulsion Revolution. This proposal is simple, accountable and deliverable and we hope governments will support this bold move.”

US$5 Billion Over 10 Years

The announcement follows the end of UN climate talks in Madrid that failed to deliver substantial agreement or funding. To tackle this impasse, the shipping industry now expects to raise about US$5 billion over a 10-year period for development.

“We must not leave it to others to carry the burden of addressing the climate crisis. Nor will we ask others to decide the future of maritime. We embrace our responsibility, and we ask the world’s governments to support our efforts,” said Guy Platten, ICS secretary general.

Mass Switch to Low-carbon Fuel

The ICS estimates that improvements in carbon efficiency of the world fleet of about 90 percent are now needed if the sector wants to cut total CO2 by 50 percent before 2050.

“This will only be possible if a large proportion of the fleet is using commercially viable zero-carbon fuels. In practice, if the 50 percent target is achieved, with a large proportion of the fleet using zero-carbon fuels by 2050, the entire world fleet would also be using these fuels very shortly after, making 100 percent decarbonization possible – which is the industry’s goal,” said Simon Bennett, ICS deputy secretary general.

Headquartered in London, the ICS represents national shipowners' associations and accounts for about 80 percent of the world’s merchant tonnage. The organization covers regulatory, operational and legal issues related to the sector.