ICS: IMO Could Set Initial CO2 Reduction Goals by 2018

The recent International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreement on a CO2 Road Map for shipping is a significant decision giving further impetus to the substantial CO2 reductions that are already being delivered by the global industry, according to the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

“We are very optimistic that initial CO2 reduction objectives can now be developed by IMO for the sector by 2018,” ICS Director of Policy and External Relations, Simon Bennett, said at a side event organised by IMO as part of the UNFCCC Climate Conference (COP 22) in Marrakesh.

“The shipping industry thinks these should reflect the spirit and ambition of the Paris Agreement while being appropriate to the circumstances that apply to international shipping – just as the commitments made by governments to UNFCCC reflect the circumstances of different national economies,” he added.

ICS says that the IMO Road Map will build on the mandatory CO2 reduction regulations for shipping already adopted by IMO, four years before the Paris Agreement was adopted, which will ensure that ships built after 2025 will be at least 30% more efficient.

However, ICS believes the IMO Road Map will go much further than the Paris Agreement.

“The final stage to be enacted by 2023 should establish a global mechanism for ensuring that these initial IMO commitments – which the industry wants to see agreed by 2018 – will actually be delivered,” Bennett said.

ICS says this IMO mechanism could potentially include a legally binding Market Based Measure.

Mandatory global CO2 data collection system which IMO has now adopted is considered to be key to next steps. This will enable any initial CO2 commitments agreed in 2018 to be further refined using the very latest data on ships’ emissions which will become fully available from 2019, according to Bennett.

ICS says that the international shipping sector actually reduced its total CO2 emissions by more than 10% between 2007 and 2012, despite an increase in maritime trade – while the rest of the world economy, even taking account of the commitments made in Paris – will probably continue increasing emissions at least until the 2030s.

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