The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which has represented global ship operators throughout the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, has commented on the latest draft UNFCCC text which – although still not finalised – currently contains no explicit reference to international shipping (or aviation).
ICS says it would be helpful for the new agreement to reiterate the vital role of the UN International Maritime Organization in the development of further measures to reduce shipping’s CO2 emissions. This would give extra encouragement to build on the global regulations IMO has already successfully adopted and which should reduce CO2 per tonne-km 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.
“While text on shipping could be useful, the negotiators are now having to focus on the really high level things like climate finance to ensure the overall agreement is a success which is what everyone wants” said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.
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.
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. IMO, with its specialist expertise, is the best forum to have this important debate, and ICS will participate constructively.
“The message from Paris is clear” said ICS Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe. “Governments and society expect international shipping to play a full part in the reduction of CO2, and we accept our responsibility to do this. We already have ambitious CO2 reduction goals consistent with what is currently possible. As soon our member national shipowners’ associations have digested the full implications of the final UNFCCC agreement, ICS will be proactive with ideas for debate at IMO next year.”