ICS and ECSA want further CO2 reduction, outside of COP21 agreement

ICS and ECSA want further CO2 reduction, outside of COP21 agreement

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) have reiterated their support for additional measures to reduce shipping’s CO2 emissions, even though the industry is not referred to in the draft text of a climate deal released yesterday by the UN Climate Change Summit.

Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA’s secretary general, said the talks in Paris show IMO member states are keen to take action to reduce CO2 emissions, and said he hoped the talks would add momentum to the ongoing discussions at IMO.

“We firmly believe that deleting any reference to shipping and the progress needed at IMO level is a missed opportunity. The EU has already placed its faith in the IMO process by adopting legislation that will enable and support IMO in establishing a global data collection scheme,” Verhoeven said.

“‘An irreversible process leading to lower CO2 emissions from ships has started. Efforts at IMO and EU level can only be bolstered by a clear signal from the highest UN instance on climate change,” he continued, adding that ECSA hopes shipping will be reintroduced in the final climate agreement.

Yesterday, NGOs Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment (T&E) and the Maersk Group also expressed their disappointment that shipping was not included in the UN climate change agreement.

“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.”

The ICS said the absence of shipping from the climate deal is “unlikely to inhibit the aspirations of governments” and those of the shipping industry for IMO to take further action on emissions.

“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,” Hinchliffe said.

The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee will meet in April 2016 and will work to finalise the adoption of global CO2 reporting systems for individual vessels. This could possibly lead to a market-based measure (MBM) being implemented, following analysis of the emissions data collected.

The Marshall Islands and the European Union have requested that further CO2 emission targets for international shipping be discussed at IMO, which will take place in the New Year.

The ICS said today the IMO is “is the best forum to have this important debate” and added that it will be an active participant.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.

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