IMO has not done enough to curb emissions, survey finds

IMO has not done enough to curb emissions, survey finds

Early results from the latest online survey carried by Maritime CEO suggest the International Maritime Organization (IMO) should be doing more to tackle shipping emissions. 68% of the 310 people to have voted so far believe IMO has not done enough to curb shipping emissions. The issue is particularly relevant in the run up to the UN climate change talks set for the end of next month in Paris where shipping will be under the spotlight.

“The IMO is a slow-moving beast that historically has trailed the requirements of industry and society. The requirement to reduce the emissions from shipping is no different,” one reader commented in our poll.

Three weeks ago, Koji Sekimizu, secretary general of the IMO, was branded a “danger to the planet” by the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands for discouraging world leaders from intervening and demanding more stringent regulation of emissions from shipping in a new UN treaty.

In a statement released on September 29, Sekimizu said any discussion of shipping’s contribution to global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions should be held at IMO, rather than as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Paris.

Speaking in Copenhagen three weeks ago, Sekimizu said: “We need to stand up and indicate to the world that [the] shipping industry and IMO has made significant measures.”. In his opinion, it is feasible that ships by 2030 could have reduced emissions by more than 30%.

“The shipping industry should take some leadership,” he urged, before adding: “IMO will maybe take some measures to ensure a level playing field.”

Yesterday, Bill Hemmings, clean shipping and aviation manager at sustainable transport group Transport & Environment, said in a release: “The Paris Agreement must send a clear signal – not a passing reference – to the UN bodies regulating these emissions … that time is up and action is now due.”

Shipping is braced for a tough time in Paris. Earlier this month, the International Transport Forum came out in favour of a carbon tax for shipping and very swingeing goals for emission cuts in the coming decades. The ITF, a research arm of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said shipping should reduce carbon emissions by half over the next 35 years and entirely by 2080 with the International Maritime Organization taking the lead.

Among the measures ITF suggested was a carbon tax for shipping set at about $25 per tonne of CO2, the receipts of which could feed into the Green Climate Fund.

The European parliament voted in favour this month of pushing for huge cuts in shipping emissions ahead of the Paris summit.

The IMO emissions debate is one eight topical questions posed in our regular MarPoll. Other issues up for discussion include the Jones Act, social media and cyber crime. Voting takes less than two minutes and there is no registration – comments are also welcomed. Results will be revealed in the next issue of Maritime CEO magazine. To vote, click here.

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