European parliament takes aim at shipping’s emissions

The Eurpoean parliament has voted in favour of pushing for huge cuts in shipping emissions ahead of the UN climate talks in Paris next month.

The EU and its member states must call for a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and scale up climate finance commitments at the COP21 UN climate talks in Paris, the parliament said on Wednesday. MEPs also say a share of revenues from the EU’s carbon market allowances should be earmarked for climate finance, and the aviation and shipping sectors should initiate measures to curb their emissions by the end of 2016.

“We are facing the fight of the century. If we do not succeed in preventing global warming from exceeding 2 degrees C by the end of the century we will see many more droughts, floods, melting glaciers and the disappearance of more and more farm land. Climate change will also be a factor in increasing the migration problem,” said Gilles Pargneaux, who drew up the resolution, which was adopted by 434 votes to 96, with 52 abstentions.

“The financial issue is and will be the cornerstone of an agreement in Paris. This is why we are calling for a clear roadmap from the member states so that we know how to finance the green fund from 2020. Fixing a carbon price at global level would also help to ensure that the least-polluting technologies are the most attractive to investors,” added Pargneaux.

With the Paris talks fast approaching, there’s much debate on what shipping will face from regulators. The International Transport Forum, a research arm of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), came out earlier this week in favour of a carbon tax for shipping and very swingeing goals for emission cuts in the coming decades.

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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