John Adams Leads Proposal to Cut Emissions With R&D Fund

In addition to his ‘day job’ as Managing Director of V.Ships UK, John Adams is also Chairman of the Bahamas Shipowners’ Association, and Vice Chair of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

As Chair of the Long-Term Measures Working Group within the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), John has built a consensus amongst all ICS national shipowner association members, in developing a strategy to meet the IMO GHG Goals. Stemming from this work, the ICS and a broad coalition of international associations (BIMCO, CLIA, INTERCARGO, INTERFERRY, INTERTANKO, IPTA, and WSC) have submitted a proposal for “a joint industry GHG R&D Fund” to the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 75).

The proposal is to form a collaborative shipping R&D programme to help eliminate CO2 emissions from international shipping – with core funding from shipping companies across the world of about USD 5 billion over a 10-year period. The industry-wide proposal is to establish an International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB), a non-governmental R&D organisation that would be overseen by IMO Member States to the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

The chief aim of this programme and the R&D fund is to accelerate the development of commercially viable zero-carbon emission ships by the early 2030s. This represents a big step forward in helping shipping reach the IMO’s commitment to half carbon emissions.

By bringing together an international coalition of shipping organisations and by providing a significant amount of funding, the R&D and subsequent deployment of zero-carbon technologies will be accelerated. Green hydrogen, fuel cells, ammonia, batteries and synthetic fuels produced from renewable energy sources need to be sourced on a scale which can be employed by large commercial ships on an international scale.

Alongside the existing members of the coalition, additional stakeholders are welcome to collaborate to ensure an international approach to a global problem, across all sectors as well as support more R&D funding opportunities for zero-carbon technologies.

John Adams, Managing Director of V.Ships UK, commented:

“The shipping industry needs to progress innovative solutions, and I am proud to be part of this forward-looking initiative, and to have achieved such a strong coalition and consensus across a full spectrum of industry stakeholders and individual associations. I look forward to hearing feedback and the discussions surrounding this proposal in the coming months when I attend the next IMO MEPC meeting as part of the ICS delegation.”

As the shipping industry’s global regulator, the IMO has responsibility for regulating the reduction of CO2 emissions by international shipping. Therefore, the proposal will be discussed by IMO members in London on the 31st March 2020 at the IMO MEPC 75 meeting. This includes analysing the proposition for governance and funding of the coordinated R&D programme, which can be put in place by 2023 via amendments to the ​​​existing IMO Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).