European Shippers’ Council calls for faster CO2 cuts

The crucial upcoming talks next week on greenhouse gases at the IMO are being watched closely by the customers of the shipping industry. Many big name shippers are under intense pressure to reduce CO2 emissions in their supply chains, and want the shipping industry to decarbonise fast, according to Denis Choumert, chairman of the European Shippers’ Council.

“We would like to see a commitment on the capping of emissions this year, like ICAO in the air industry. Up to now this has not been discussed. They should put some figures on the table this year, 2021 or 2022 is too late. The commitment from the industry should come sooner,” Choumert said in an interview emailed to Splash.

“They [the IMO] have enough information about potential of new ships, new motors, to decrease emissions per tonne for each cargo. They should be able to process what can be achieved,” Choumert continued.

The shippers boss said shipping should be set a target of 2035 to decarbonise, the same as the EU target for emissions reduction of inland transport.

Next week is the 72nd gathering of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) at IMO’s London headquarters, a meeting viewed as crucial for the future of the industry. Splash will be providing readers with extensive coverage from MEPC. 

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.


  1. So, if ICS are consistent they should now label the ESC as “irresponsible and unrealistic” to be in line with their assessment of RMI at COP23.

    It so refreshing to see the progressive side of the industry not burying heir head in the sand and being pragmatic. The agreement to meet the single temperature goal of the Paris Agreement – well below 2 degrees and with effort for 1.5 – was of course a unaimous one by nation states. Yes, the commitment from industry must come sooner. It is disingenuous of ICS to now try and walk back that global agreement under the cloak of “compromise’. 1.5 degrees gives the atoll nations a 50% chance of survival. That in itself is an enormous compromise.

    Olaf Merk’s important OCED report today is also a well balanced and convincing analysis that adds to the weight of science now saying a 1.5 degree consistent target for shipping is an achievable goal. 1.5 to stay alive!

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