IMO adopts climate-change strategy in line with Paris Agreement

  • IMO adopts climate-change strategy in line with Paris Agreement

IMO adopts climate-change strategy in line with Paris Agreement

"It is now crucial that effective reduction measures are swiftly adopted and put in place before 2023". Meanwhile, efforts will be pursued toward phasing out GHG emissions entirely.

"The shipping sector must contribute its fair share to the goals of the Paris Agreement", said EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and her colleague in charge of Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete.

The strategy's targets are not binding, and the MEPC has characterised the document as a framework that demonstrates the level of ambition across the IMO's member states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The strategy also identifies barriers and supportive measures including capacity building, technical cooperation and research and development.

But Mr Hinchcliffe from ICS warned that the IMO strategy is highly ambitious given current projections for trade growth as the world's population and levels of prosperity continue to increase.

"Shipping in recent years has been responsible for about 800 million tons annually of carbon dioxide emissions, according to Dan Rutherford, the marine and aviation program director of the International Council on Clean Transportation, who was in attendance for the deliberations in London this week". This working group will be tasked with developing follow-up actions to the Initial strategy, further considering how to progress reduction of GHG emissions in order to advise the committee and reporting to the next MEPC session, which meets October 22-26.

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.

Others say the deal reflects the sector's power in the IMO. Reviews should take into account updated emission estimates, emissions reduction options for worldwide shipping, and the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

ICS says it hopes the IMO agreement will be sufficient to discourage those who mistakenly advocate regional measures which, as well being very damaging to global trade, would not be effective in helping the worldwide shipping sector to further reduce its total Carbon dioxide emissions, which are now about 8% lower than in 2008 despite a 30% increase in maritime trade.

While the European Union had sought a higher level of ambition, the Commission said the deal was "a good starting point that will allow for further review and improvements over time".

The overall efficiency goal agreed by IMO Member States are a 40% improvement by 2030, compared to 2008, and a 50-70% improvement by 2050.