Four major international trade associations – BIMCO, INTERCARGO, International Chamber of Shipping and INTERTANKO – have made a joint proposal to the UN International Maritime Organization calling for stringent CO2 reductions by the international shipping sector.
Currently global shipping accounts for 2.2% of the world’s annual man-made CO2 emissions.
The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee meets in London this July to begin the development of a strategy for the reduction of the sector’s CO2 emissions aligning the international shipping sector response to the 2015 Paris Agreement’s call for ambitious contributions to combat climate change.
The industry bodies have proposed that IMO Member States should immediately adopt two aspirational objectives on behalf of the international shipping sector:
To maintain international shipping’s annual total CO2 emissions below 2008 levels; and
To reduce CO2 emissions per tonne of cargo transported one kilometre, as an average across international shipping, by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008.
The industry associations have also suggested that IMO give consideration to another possible objective of reducing international shipping’s total annual CO2 emissions, by an agreed percentage by 2050 compared to 2008, as a point on a continuing trajectory of further CO2 emissions reduction.
The main driver behind the joint proposal is to avoid the imposition of market-distorting regulations arrived at by the EU or other regional/national legislation in the absence of an IMO strategy that is at least as stringent as that arrived at by the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The industry associations assert that it is important for IMO to send a clear, unambiguous signal to the global community that shipping’s regulators have agreed to some ambitious objectives for reducing the sector’s CO2 emissions.
The shipping industry wants IMO to remain in control of additional measures to address CO2 reduction by international shipping and to develop a global solution, rather than risk the danger of market-distorting measures at the national or regional level.
The proposal also take account of the concerns of developing nations about the possible impacts of CO2 reduction for trade and sustainable development, the industry submission emphasises that any objectives adopted by IMO must not imply any commitment to place a binding cap on the sector’s total CO2 emissions or on the CO2 emissions of individual ships.