The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – which represents all sectors and trades of the global shipping industry and over 80% of the world merchant fleet – has produced a briefing document for government climate change negotiators, in advance of the next United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 17), which commences in Durban at the end of November.
The Document entitled ‘Shipping, World Trade and the Reduction of CO2 Emissions’ is being distributed via ICS member national shipowners’ associations.
ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe explained:
“The international shipping industry is firmly committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020, with significant further reductions thereafter. However, the Durban Climate Change Conference needs to give the International Maritime Organization a clear mandate to continue its vital work to help us deliver further emission reductions through the development of Market Based Measures.”
The shipping industry hopes that governments at COP 17 will respond positively to the significant IMO agreement, in July 2011, to adopt a package of technical measures to reduce shipping’s CO2 emissions, which by 2030 should reduce ships’ emissions by 25-30% compared to ‘business as usual’. This is the first ever international agreement containing binding and mandatory measures to reduce CO2 emissions that has so far been agreed for an entire industrial sector.
Most importantly – and without prejudice to what governments might agree at UNFCCC – the shipping industry believes that IMO is now very well placed to continue the real progress it is making on Market Based Measures to help deliver further emissions reductions. This includes a possible shipping industry environmental compensation fund – with possible linkages to any ‘Green Fund’ agreed by UNFCCC. This could address the Kyoto Protocol principle of ‘Common But Differentiated Responsibility’ (CBDR) by directing the lion’s share of any funds raised from international shipping to environment related projects in developing countries, including climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The shipping industry wishes governments to understand that in the absence of a global framework agreed by IMO there is a serious risk of regional or unilateral measures attempting to regulate CO2 emissions for shipping. This would have a seriously distorting effect on international shipping markets, but would also be much less effective in delivering meaningful reductions in CO2 emissions by the global shipping sector as a whole.
The ICS Document explains why shipping is a global industry requiring global regulation, and contains details of the measures that the industry and its international regulator (IMO) are taking to reduce ship emissions; means by which IMO might take account of the UNFCCC CBDR principle; and the reasons why shipping does not lend itself to inclusion in national CO2 emissions targets.
World Maritime News Staff, November 15, 2011; Image: ICS