Singapore Launches $90 Million Shipping Decarbonization Fund

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) announced two initiatives on Wednesday to reduce the shipping industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, including a S£120 million (£90 million) fund for a decarbonization center. “Maritime decarbonization is a global challenge requiring a collective responsibility from all stakeholders involved,” MPA Chief Executive Quah Ley Hoon said in a statement. With about 90% of world trade transported by sea, shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.

The industry is examining a range of technologies as it tries to meet the International Maritime Organization target of a 50% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 levels by 2050. “The agreements signed today are two initial steps, which we hope will catalyze a larger, much-needed momentum to make international shipping more sustainable,” said Quah. The MPA signed a memorandum of cooperation with six shipping industry members – BW Group, Sembcorp Marine, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Ocean Network Express, Foundation Det Norske Veritas and BHP – to establish the Singapore maritime decarbonization center and will fund maritime decarbonization research and technology development projects, the MPA statement said.

The six private sector members will each contribute S£10 million to the fund with the remaining S£60 million coming from the MPA, it said. “Climate change is a defining challenge of our time, and the only way to tackle this is with cross-border, cross-sector collaboration,” Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman of BW Group, said in the statement. In the second agreement, MPA signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore’s Temasek to explore decarbonization opportunities with the state investor and companies in its portfolio.

“This MPA-Temasek agreement paves the way for joint efforts aimed at reducing carbon emissions across port operations, maritime supply chains and shipping, including new potential low- or no-carbon fuels for ships,” said Juliet Teo, head of transportation and logistics at Temasek.

(Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by David Clarke)