Thursday, 19 April, 2018


IMO agrees strategy for cutting carbon dioxide emissions in shipping

Shipping industry joins effort to tackle climate change From ambitious to hesitant: This was how the IMO's CO2 deal was received
Kristine Garrett | 17 April, 2018, 01:38

Shipping was originally left out of major nation-based climate accords, with some countries such as the USA and Saudi Arabia not wanting to cut shipping emissions at all. At present, ships run nearly entirely on fossil fuels, generally the dirtiest grades of oil, and burn them inefficiently to boot. There was limited opposition to the deal with Saudi Arabia and the United States expressing reservations.

The landmark decision brings shipping in line with the aspirations of the Paris Agreement, it added.

Nations meeting at the International Maritime Organization adopted an initial strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, with the goal of phasing them out as soon as possible. "Preparations on longer term actions should also begin", Bulc and Cañete said in a joint statement.

The initial strategy's levels of ambition note that technological innovation and the global introduction of alternative fuels and/or energy sources for worldwide shipping will be integral to achieve the overall ambition.

Dr Tristan Smith, an energy and shipping reader at the UCL Energy Institute, said that the 2050 target is likely to be tightened even further in the future.

Industry organisations warn that this can only be achieved if governments recognise the enormity of this challenge and facilitate the rapid development of new technologies and fuels.

The global shipping industry has taken a crucial step in addressing climate change.

Aside from ICS, the outcome of MEPC 72 has been largely welcomed by industry organisations including BIMCO, The Coalition for Clean Shipping and Interferry.

"The IMO must move swiftly to introduce measures that will cut emissions deeply and quickly in the short-term".

Experts say that the compromise is not in keeping with the Paris climate agreement goal of keeping temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celcius.

The IMO Member States, representing both developed and developing countries, had the responsibility of agreeing on the high-level GHG emissions reduction strategy at IMO, comprising a Vision, Levels of Ambition and Guiding Principles, in what continues as an on-going process; this is not an easy task, as for one thing at least their representatives should not fail to take into account the safety and practical issues affecting ships and any potential impact of the commitments they make on worldwide trade.

According to the "roadmap" approved by IMO member states in 2016, the initial strategy is due to be revised by 2023. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

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