‘IMO is the only forum to handle CO2 reduction’: ICS

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has welcomed the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference reached over the weekend.

Despite the absence of an explicit reference to shipping, ICS says that the message from the world’s governments is clear. “I am sure IMO member states will now proceed with new momentum to help the industry deliver ever greater CO2 reductions, as the world moves towards total decarbonisation by the end of the Century,” said ICS secretary general, Peter Hinchliffe.

ICS will engage in discussions at IMO – expected to begin in earnest at a meeting in April – MEPC 69 – next year – about the possibility of agreeing a CO2 reduction target for shipping. ICS is also pushing for IMO to finalise a global CO2 data collection system for ships, which ICS would like to see mandatory as soon as possible, prior to IMO deciding on the necessity of additional actions such as a developing a Market Based Measure.

“CO2 is a global problem and shipping is a global industry,” said Peter Hinchliffe. “IMO is the only forum which can take account of the UN principle of differentiation while requiring all ships to apply the same CO2 reduction measures, regardless of their flag state. Unilateral or regional regulation would be disastrous for shipping and disastrous for global CO2 reduction, whereas IMO is already helping shipping to deliver substantial CO2 reductions on a global basis.”

Plenty of NGOs – as well as Maersk – have voiced their disappointment that shipping and aviation were not included in the final text of the Paris Agreement.

Victoria Stulgis, senior associate at the Carbon War Room, commented: “The European Parliament, Denmark, Marshall Islands and Maersk, among others, have spoken: shipping needs to be regulated.  The industry is ready for regulation, and we are looking forward to seeing more countries and businesses come forward in support of explicit targets for shipping before MEPC 69 in April.”


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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