ESPO: IMO Must Deliver on CO2 Cap for Shipping

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Europe should pile on the pressure on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to increase efforts and submit an initial shipping emissions reduction target to the stock-take process of the Paris Agreement in 2018, according to the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO).

The initial reduction target should be accompanied by short-term measures, and by 2023, IMO should set an emissions reduction target and have the necessary measures to enforce it, ESPO said.

Last week, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted for the inclusion of the shipping emissions in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) “in the absence of progress at international level” as from 2023 and the establishment of a maritime climate fund.

Shipping being a global industry and climate change being a global challenge, ESPO strongly believes that IMO is by far the right level to address the issue and to find a solution. In that respect, ESPO believes that the roadmap agreed on at the IMO MEPC meeting last October is a starting point.

IMO MEPC 70 agreed on a roadmap towards the development of a comprehensive strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships. 2018 has been set as a milestone for defining an initial IMO strategy. This initial strategy will allow international shipping to take part in the first stock-taking meeting under the Paris Agreement in 2018 where all national reduction targets will be tested whether they are fit for purpose. This initial strategy would subsequently be adjusted based on the analysis of available data, and a revised strategy envisaged for spring 2023 will be finally adopted.

“The Paris Agreement has sent a strong signal that international cooperation can deliver tremendous results. The IMO is the right place to address shipping emissions. There is already a coalition of the willing in IMO and Europe should increase the pressure on the IMO to step up its efforts and make progress. It is becoming clear that if the IMO will not deliver an emissions reduction target and measures to implement it by 2023, an EU approach seems unavoidable. We therefore hope that the IMO will demonstrate the same level of ambition when addressing climate change as it did on the global air pollution cap agreed last October”, said ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost.

The EU and national climate measures that are currently being developed to implement the Paris Agreement, will oblige ports to reduce the carbon footprint of their land-based activities. These efforts should be accompanied by measures covering emissions generated at sea, according to ESPO.

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