European ship owners join the European Commission, MEPs and various stakeholders in calling for shipping to be brought back in the text currently negotiated in the context of the COP21 climate talks in Paris.
“The talks in Paris are a unique opportunity to give a clear signal to the Member States of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) that they need to act decisively in order to further regulate CO2 emissions from ships on a global level. It would provide support for their ability to move forward and give new impetus to ongoing discussions, which we hope will very soon reach fruition’ said Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General.
Shipping, together with aviation, had been included in earlier versions of the draft agreement on climate change. The latest version however, which was released yesterday, makes no reference to these two industries.
The IMO has already made strides when it comes to the shipping industry’s carbon footprint. In 2011 it adopted universal measures that made shipping the first industrial sector to have a binding global regime in place to reduce its CO2 emissions. Entered into force in 2013, they require a gradual improvement of energy efficiency for newly built ships through intermediary targets, culminating in the requirement that all ships constructed after 2025 be 30% more efficient that those built in the 2000s.
However, the IMO’s work on CO2 emissions reduction is far from completed. It remains firmly on its agenda and will be considered again at the next meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee in April 2016. The shipping industry supports the establishment, as soon as possible, of a mandatory system of data collection from individual vessels, understanding that the possibility of further market based measures might be revisited after an IMO analysis of the data submitted by ships.
“We firmly believe that deleting any reference to shipping and the progress needed at IMO level is a missed opportunity. The EU has already placed its faith in the IMO process by adopting legislation that will enable and support IMO in establishing a global data collection scheme,” said Mr Verhoeven.
“An irreversible process leading to lower CO2 emissions from ships has started. Efforts at IMO and EU level can only be bolstered by a clear signal from the highest UN instance on climate change. We sincerely hope that negotiating parties will seriously reconsider and heed our call for shipping to be reintroduced in the final climate agreement,” concluded Mr Verhoeven.