CIMAC calls for neutral legal framework to boost research

'Spirit of Vancouver Island' The Spirit of Vancouver Island was converted to LNG in March, but LNG is a short-term solution, says CIMAC. Credit: Remontowa
Industry Database

The International Council on Combustion Engines (CIMAC) has called for a technologically-neutral global legal framework to help support development of the technical solutions needed for shipping to reach the IMO’s target to reduce the total annual GHG emissions from ships by at least 50% by 2050.

Only technologically-neutral rule-making will be able to attract the necessary investments worldwide, while a consensus on finely focussed R&D activities with support from regulatory bodies to enable funding is also required, said the organisation.

“To support the development of technical solutions in the medium and long-term, an efficient cross sector R&D framework must be defined and supported without delay,” stressed CIMAC.

Look to long-term

It noted the technical solutions currently available do not meet all types of shipping needs.

Short-term measures should “focus on efficiency improvements and take account of existing and close to market-ready technical solutions, such as LNG retrofits or system optimisation”. They must specifically focus on the least efficient ships, and part of a range of solutions for shipowners.

Current changes such as the switch to LNG are necessary and helpful, but should only be considered as bridging technologies, if they are still fossil-fuel based.

Hydrogen and carbon-neutral (bio or synthetic) fuels are nowhere near being competitive solutions.

Other ideas such as innovative ship design and broader digitalisation call for a wide scope of parties to be involved.

CIMAC said the necessary developments require co-operation between all stakeholders including ship owners, shipbuilders, engine manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, system integrators and Classification Societies.

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