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Top shipping bodies outline CO2 emissions plans

Top shipping bodies outline CO2 emissions plans

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With the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee set to meet in London next month to begin the development of a strategy for the reduction of the sector’s CO2 emissions, four of the industry’s top shipowning bodies have today submitted a joint proposal for the way ahead.

BIMCO, Intercargo, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Intertanko have submitted a detailed submission, which contains two “aspirational objectives”, namely to maintain international shipping’s annual total CO2 emissions below 2008 levels; and to reduce CO2 emissions per tonne of cargo transported one kilometre, as an average across international shipping, by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008.

In addition, the industry associations have suggested that IMO should give consideration to another possible objective of reducing international shipping’s total annual CO2 emissions, by an agreed percentage by 2050 compared to 2008, as a point on a continuing trajectory of further CO2 emissions reduction.

The industry associations stated in a release today that it is important for IMO to send a “clear, unambiguous signal” to the global community that shipping’s regulators have agreed to some ambitious objectives for reducing the sector’s CO2 emissions, in the same way that land-based activity is now covered by government commitments under the Paris Agreement.

“The shipping industry wants IMO to remain in control of additional measures to address CO2 reduction by international shipping and to develop a global solution, rather than risk the danger of market-distorting measures at the national or regional level,” the four bodies stated.

Importantly, acknowledging concerns of developing nations about the possible impacts of CO2 reduction for trade and sustainable development, the industry submission emphasises that any objectives adopted by IMO must not imply any commitment to place a binding cap on the sector’s total CO2 emissions or on the CO2 emissions of individual ships.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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