Shipping industry members commit to CO2 reduction efforts but an IMO-led strategy still lacks

The agreement by both the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) that the IMO must be urged to adopt dramatic CO2 reduction efforts indicates that there is a commitment from international shipping to cut emissions.  What is lacking is clear direction and strategy from the IMO to do so.

At the moment the pathway to reducing international shipping’s emissions is not clear at all from the IMO says Esben Poulsson, ICS Chairman.  He believes that shipping has a good story to tell regarding the reduction of CO2 but it is very difficult to convey when the IMO gives no clear signal as to what the industry’s collective CO2 reduction objectives should be.

He says that ambitious objectives from the IMO that include numbers and dates for reducing CO2 emissions is vital. Furthermore, the IMO needs to make sure that all involved are aware of the scale of the task ahead in order to help move towards a fossil-fuels free future.

The ICS has promised it will urge the IMO to implement dramatic CO2 reduction efforts, the ICS, while the IAPH has agreed to sponsor a submission to MEPC that calls for a quantified global emissions pathway for shipping to set the level of ambition of the initial IMO strategy, which will be decided in 2018.

ICS believes that the IMO should adopt three aspirational objectives.  These maintaining shipping’s annual CO2 emissions below 2008 levels, reducing CO2 emissions per tonne-km by at least 50% by 2050 compared with 2008, and reducing shipping’s total annual CO2 emissions by an agreed percentage by 2050, compared with 2008. While the submission that IAPH is to sponsor suggests that greenhouse gas emissions should start declining as soon as possible and head towards zero in the second half of the century, along with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

This month the ICS stated in its 2017 annual review that it aims to develop a consensus for reducing CO2 emissions acceptable to all its members.

Last week the WSC, Bimco, and the IPTA filed a proposal for the IMO to consider in developing the Greenhouse Gas Strategy for the shipping industry.

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