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THE International Chamber of Shipping and International Maritime Organization have met with the Green Climate Fund to discuss the provision of up to $1.5 million to accelerate a zero carbon shipping research and development fund.

A key aim of the meeting was to develop potential solutions to ensure that developing economies – from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Pacific – can access technology and funding for zero carbon ships and the required infrastructure.

One solution to be discussed further in the coming weeks is the potential availability of up to US$1.5 million from the GCF Project Preparation Facility (PFF) to fast track the creation of the IMO Maritime Research Fund (IMRF).

The PPF funding could be used to pay for the feasibility and governance work required to set up the fund quickly as soon as it is approved by the IMO.

The IMRF proposal would provide guaranteed levels of funding to all member countries at no cost to taxpayers, to accelerate the production of zero emission ships.

The IMO is due to review a proposal to form a US$5 billion research and development program at its next Marine Environment Protection Committee to be held on 22 November. The fund would be overseen by IMO and financed through a mandated research and development contribution by shipowners of US$2 per tonne of marine fuel consumed.

Guy Platten, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping said, “I am grateful for the leadership of the Green Climate Fund and their attention given to the initiatives highlighted here at COP26, as well as their interest in supporting the IMO Maritime Research Fund, particularly for developing countries.

“All the preparation has been done to ensure we can hit the ground running as soon as the IMRF proposal is approved. With the GCF funds we would also have the start-up funds in place.

“The only thing that can stop us now are member states’ willingness to live up to the commitments they are making here in Glasgow.”

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Meanwhile, the UN Global Compact and shipping industry has confirmed the formation of “people-centred’ taskforce to ensure a just transition to net-zero emissions in shipping.

The taskforce will push forward shipping’s climate goals while protecting its works and their communities, ensuring opportunity for all. It will focus on the development of new green skills and green and decent work, identifying best practice across the value chain and providing policy recommendations for an equitable transition – with a specific focus on developing economies.

The task force was agreed during high-level discussions at COP26, including in discussions with the shipping lead, UN climate champions team, whose founding members include the International Chamber of Shipping, the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the United Nations Global Compact.

Guy Platten, secretary general ICS, said, “We are all about to face the single largest transition in modern times, and all of us will be affected.

“Many of our seafarers come from developing nations, who are witnessing first-hand the effects of climate change. We must ensure they are given the green skills they need to keep global trade moving, and that developing nations can have access to the technologies and infrastructure to be part of shipping’s green transition.”

Stephen Cotton, ITF general secretary said, “We know that seafarers’ expertise will lead shipping’s green transformation, and we look forward to working in the taskforce to push forward concrete, tangible solutions to decarbonise the sector in a worker-led just transition”.

A meeting is expected to take place in December to begin setting up the practical next steps for the Just Transition Task Force.

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