The global shipping industry organizations are calling for shipping to be brought back in the latest draft text, issued days before talks were due to end at COP21 climate talks in Paris, by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Shipping, together with aviation, had been included in earlier versions of the draft agreement on climate change, however the latest version makes no reference to these two industries.
“The dropping of international aviation and shipping emissions from the draft Paris climate agreement makes keeping a temperature increase under 2 degrees close to impossible. Countries must insist that the Paris deal also tackles the two elephants in the room: planes’ and ships’ emissions,” T&E policy officer Andrew Murphy said.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which has represented global ship operators throughout the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, is supporting the move, along with the European shipowners, the European Commission, MEPs and various stakeholders.
ICS claims that even without concrete mentioning the shipping will cut emissions.
ICS says it would be helpful for the new agreement to reiterate the vital role of the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the development of further measures to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping.
“This would give extra encouragement to build on the global regulations IMO has already successfully adopted and which should reduce CO2 per tonne-km by 50% by 2050. However, the absence of text is unlikely to inhibit the aspirations of governments – which are shared by the industry – for IMO to take further action,” ICS said.
According to ICS, virtually all UNFCCC Parties and IMO Member States have made clear that they expect the industry to deliver more, and that work on CO2 reduction must continue at IMO, as set out in the original Kyoto Protocol.
“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 Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General.
In 2016, work will continue at IMO to finalise the adoption of a global CO2 reporting system for ships as the first step in a process that is expected to lead to additional actions that could include a Market Based Measure (MBM).
In addition, IMO has already agreed to have a discussion about CO2 targets for international shipping, as requested by the Marshall Islands and supported by the European Union.
Shipping accounts for about 3% of the global warming, while aviation accounts for about 5%. If treated as countries, the two sectors would both make the list of top 10 emitters. A recent scientific study commissioned by the European Parliament found that almost 40% of all CO2 emissions in 2050 will be caused by aviation and shipping if left unregulated.
A final deal was scheduled to be reached by Friday evening, but talks are now expected to continue into the weekend.