Market-based measures to tackle CO2 emissions are “highly controversial” and the majority of the industry is still not really convinced that they work or deliver genuine CO2 reductions, Simon Bennett, a director at the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), said at the Helmepa Posidonia conference this morning.
“Frankly, there are lots of smoke and mirrors with things like the Clean Development Mechanism, which is arguably just a means for rich countries to pay others to import their emissions,” Bennett said, adding: “And from an environmental perspective, most would agree that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme has been an unmitigated failure.”
Bennett claimed shipping fully accepts responsibility for reducing its CO2, which he said amounts to about 2.2% of the global total.
Shipping is already the most carbon efficient form of transport, typically about 30 times more efficient than air cargo and five times more than trucks, he pointed out. “If any further measures adopted to reduce CO2 from ships simply result with modal shift to less efficient forms of transport, this would obviously be self-defeating,” he observed at the conference.
“We are confident of reducing CO2 per tonne-km by 50% by 2050,” Bennett said. “But we recognise that governments and society continue to expect even more.”
Splash is reporting from across the many events during Posidonia week. A full archive of stories so far can be accessed by clicking here.