MSC CEO Calls For Global Approach To R&D And Carbon Pricing

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has joined other carriers in reiterating support for a global R&D decarbonisation fund and also in backing a potential worldwide market-based measure that would include carbon pricing.

On top of MSC’s own substantial efforts to boost fleet energy efficiency and trial a range of new fuels and technologies, specific global initiatives are required to help the shipping industry decarbonise, according to MSC CEO Soren Toft:

“Some form of global market-based-measure, incorporating carbon pricing, could help the industry to decarbonise by reducing the price gap between fossil fuels and zero-carbon fuels as they become available. At the same time, despite our huge investments into our fleet and operations, scalable long-term solutions simply do not currently exist for us to deploy on our ships. There is a gap in R&D to bring these alternative fuels and technologies to the market and the industry wide research fund will help us achieve the UN IMO’s policy targets.”

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Today, the only commercially available options to significantly reduce emissions from the shipping industry at scale are: improving energy efficiency, LNG and biofuels. While MSC believes that these are crucial elements to consider as part of the energy transition, these options alone will not provide a long-term or full solution. Logistical and technical issues must be solved before new fuels can be scaled up for the shipping industry.

The industry needs a range of alternative fuels at scale and needs them urgently. The main challenges now are to determine the right combination of new fuels and technologies and to implement viable industry-wide proposals to invest in R&D to achieve those goals, and, ultimately, the zero-carbon future.

MSC therefore joined an industry call to action to UN IMO member states to support the proposal for a R&D fund that would help catalyse new technologies and zero-carbon fuels to decarbonise the industry, in an open letter by CEOs of 17 members of the World Shipping Council on 3 June.

The International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) will be a USD 5 billion programme, first of its kind, and governed by the IMO, to coordinate and to raise money for research & development to lower emissions.

Decarbonising the shipping industry is a battle we must win. Only with options at scale for commercially-viable low or zero-carbon vessels can carbon pricing be a truly effective tool to catalyse the shift towards a zero-carbon future for international shipping.

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