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Denmark joins co-sponsors of $5 bn research fund to decarbonize shipping

Denmark has joined as a co-sponsor of the proposal to create a $5 billion International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) was submitted to the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The proposal was submitted on the 10th of March 2021 by Georgia, Greece, Japan, Liberia, Malta, Nigeria, Palau, Singapore, and Switzerland.

The World Shipping Council expects more nations to support the cause.

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“The sponsoring nations have done a very thorough job, mapping out in detail the framework required to get the R&D programme up and running as quickly as possible. We are very pleased to see Denmark’s support, as one of the leading maritime nations. The IMRB is a crucial step on the path to decarbonise shipping, and we have no time to lose if we are to meet the UN climate goals,” says John Butler, CEO of WSC.

The $5 billion would be collected over the 10 to 15 years life of the programme via a mandatory contribution equivalent to $2 per tonne of fuel oil consumed, using the mechanism already established by MARPOL Annex VI for the Fuel Oil Data Collection System.  

It is co-sponsored by all of the world’s major international shipowners’ associations including BIMCO, Cruise Lines International Association, IMCA, INTERCARGO, INTERFERRY, International Chamber of Shipping, INTERTANKO, IPTA, and World Shipping Council.

The fund is aimed at supporting collaborative programmes for the applied research and development of zero-carbon technologies, specifically tailored for maritime application, including development of working prototypes. It also aims to assist COreduction projects in developing countries, including Pacific island nations.

The fund is seen as a crucial vehicle to drive the needed progress in developing zero-carbon technologies and fuels that will enable the shipping sector to meet its decarbonization goals.