Argus Media Limited

11/21/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/21/2023 11:53

ICS and Ibia submit fuel standard proposal to IMO

Industry organisations the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Bunker Industry Association (Ibia) have submitted their joint proposal for a simplified global GHG fuel standard to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The IMO agreed in July on a marine fuel standard and a maritime GHG emissions pricing mechanism to be finalised by 2025, to come into force by 2027. There is also a target of 5-10pc uptake of zero or near-zero emissions fuel technologies by 20230.

The ICS and IBIA have submitted a proposal to the IMO for a global fuel standard ahead of the sixteenth intersessional working group in March 2024, that would include a maximum GHG intensity for fuels in 2030 - to be tightened in 2040.

The deputy secretary general of ICS, Simon Bennett, explained this new standard to Argus at Motorship's 44th Propulsion and Future Fuels conference in Hamburg today. Having a global fuel standard would make it necessary for shipowners to bunker with compliant greener fuel, and guarantee suppliers of alternative fuels a customer base- circumventing shipping's current inertia from its chicken-and-egg delays in investing in alternative fuels.

To soften the financial impact of more expensive bunkering, the ICS and Ibia put forward a pooling compliance mechanism, through private agreements between companies. Independent classification societies would award compliance certificates and relieve governments of excessive administrative burdens - such as the complex year-long process of monitoring, reporting and verifying compliance for FuelEU Maritime. The pooling mechanism seeks to protect smaller companies and remote locations, as there is currently limited availability of alternative fuels, and help lower the sector's overall emissions.

Bennett argues that this could set shipping apart in its competition with other sectors - such as transportation, heating and agriculture - for renewable energy and alternative fuels. Shipping is global, whereas the other sectors and their compliance to GHG emissions reductions targets are fragmented along national lines. With this fuel standard, energy suppliers could depend on shipping more than other sectors to fulfil their own global GHG emissions reduction goals.

By Anya Fielding