The International Maritime Organization is being urged to prioritise setting up a funded research and development system over introducing a carbon levy at its next meeting following the COP26 climate talks.

John Bradshaw, World Shipping Council technical director — safety & environment, said it was imperative the R&D structure for the International Maritime Research Board (IMRB) be agreed at the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC77) meeting later this month.

International Chamber of Shipping deputy secretary general, Simon Bennett said the ICS, which has proposed the IMO move to a target of zero emissions by 2050 and impose a carbon levy to help get there, agreed that a deal on the IMRB was needed first.