174 governments have met this week at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London to address the pressing carbon emission reduction challenges facing international shipping, in what the industry is calling the ‘first litmus test’ of government’s decarbonisation commitments following COP26.

The latest meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) concluded that an annual USD5 billion technology research and development (R&D) fund to decarbonise shipping needs further review.

The proposal will be reconsidered at next year’s Intersessional Working Group on the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Ships. The proposed International Maritime Research Fund (IMRF), which will be generated from a USD2-per-tonne levy on fuel, is likely to be repackaged alongside other market-based measures.