The US Congress on Tuesday received a letter signed by several entities of the maritime industry, urging it for a $20 billion investment towards the decarbonization of the industry. The signatories included a total of fifteen entities like several port authorities, shipping industry groups, and environmental organizations.
The proposal included that the capital is distributed among several departments and agencies, like the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency, who can further direct these funds towards ramping up of port infrastructure, research and development of modern and sustainable technologies and exploring options of financing US ships hence aiding decarbonization in the shipping industry.
The proposal also specifically mentioned areas of research that needed funding on an urgent basis for accelerated decarbonization of the maritime industry. The letter identified the research and development of zero-emission fuels as a priority and urged for a $3 billion investment for it along with another $1 billion investment for the development of methods and retrofits to construct zero-emission ships.
The major stakeholders of the maritime industry who have put up the proposal to the US Congress include Port of San Diego, Green Shipping Line, Ocean Conservancy, Pacific Environment, Azul, Friends of the Earth, Ocean Defense Initiative, Earthjustice, and The Rachel Carson Council.
The letter also justifies the massive investment demand with the need and urgency to pursue decarbonization in the shipping industry. They highlight the major contribution of the shipping industry to roughly 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions which is more than emissions from all coal plants in the US combined.
Furthermore, the letter stresses the fact that the US being a major stakeholder to maritime trade and business across the globe, with access to trade routes used for 80% of global trade owes it to the world to lead by example the transition towards a zero-emission future.
Madeline Rose, Climate Campaign Director at Pacific Environment, said that “Congress has a unique opportunity to invest in a zero-emission economy by taking the necessary steps to transform maritime and ports. We need decisive action now for the zero-emission transition of shipping and ports.”
If approved, this proposal can play a decisive role in the fight against global climate change and its mitigation especially through revolutionary changes in the maritime industry.