EU Urged to Support Global Co2 Agenda for Shipping

Image Courtesy: IMO

The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) is calling upon the EU Member States to give their support to global CO2 agenda for shipping. 

From 14 to 15 April, EU Transport and Environment Ministers are meeting in Amsterdam for an informal joint Council meeting under the Dutch Presidency. The discussion revolves around on how Member States could make a positive and constructive contribution to achieve an international framework of CO2 reduction commitments.

Niels Smedegaard, ECSA President points out that European shipowners fully support the initiative of the Dutch Presidency. “The shipping industry endorses the Paris agreement on climate change and we are committed to ambitious CO2 emission reductions across the world merchant fleet. With the shipping industry’s support, Member States of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will be able to develop meaningful CO2 reduction commitments for the international shipping sector as a whole that are both ambitious and realistic,” says Smedegaard.

In addition, the EU Parliament is also requesting from EU governments to match Paris ambition on ships.

In a letter sent to Europe’s ministers of transport and environment, the heads of seven political groups of the Parliament’s environment committee also demanded greater climate ambition at both ICAO and IMO, the UN bodies charged with regulating emissions from aircraft and ships respectively, and at EU level.

The calls come ahead of the 69th session of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) session, which takes place next week in London.

The shipping industry wants IMO to establish a mandatory global system of data collection from individual ships by the end of 2016, according to ECSA. The system is to be the central topic during the MEPC’s session.

We believe that this system should have mandatory application,” says ECSA Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven, adding that a decision in IMO should come forward in 2016 so that vessels can provide the required data as soon as possible.

ECSA also supports the proposal of its international partner the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) for IMO Member States to adopt an intended IMO Determined Contribution, which focuses on CO2 emission reduction by the entire international shipping sector.

This would make IMO Member States and the shipping industry answerable to the international community, in the same way that governments committed to Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs), ECSA explains. The adoption of an Intended IMO Determined Contribution would also make it clear that the reduction of the sector’s CO2 emissions is being addressed robustly by IMO Member States, according to ECSA.

According to Transport & Environment, the CO2 from shipping account for some 3 % of the global total.

Having escaped explicit mention in the Paris deal, emissions from aviation and shipping still remain the two elephants in the climate room. Without ambitious action to reduce ship and aviation emissions both at EU and global levels, the world does not stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C,” says Sotiris Raptis, Shipping policy officer at Transport & Environment.

Transport & Environment believes that emissions from ships and planes have been growing twice as fast as the rest of the global economy. Based on a scientific study published recently by the European Parliament, shipping and aviation could account for almost 4o% of the world’s CO2 emissions in 2050.

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