More than 50 Climate Vulnerable Forum countries (CVF), from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, have called for the UN’s shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to establish a greenhouse gas levy on international shipping.
This is part of the CVF Dhaka-Glasgow Declaration launched at the COP26 climate summit yesterday, urging the rest of the world to deliver on the Climate Emergency Pact and accelerate action to keep the 1.5 degree temperature goal within reach.
This CVF endorsement comes ahead of the IMO’s 77th Environmental Protection Committee Meeting (MEPC 77) later this month where member states will discuss a proposal for a $100 carbon tax for shipping by the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands.
Dr Tristan Smith from University College London commented: “Decarbonising shipping requires massive investments in green hydrogen energy supply chains. This can be an opportunity for some, but for others it can increase transport costs and inequality. It also creates a risk of leaving countries behind technologically. This is why this leadership and elegant solution proposal by CVF is so important as it can help IMO move forwards ambitiously and equitably.”
Lucy Gilliam from the NGO Seas at Risk said: “Far too often we see a disconnect between national climate ambition and the positions taken by the flag state at the IMO. We need to join these dots to deliver the urgent short-term emission reductions that are necessary to save 1.5 degrees.”
A global carbon levy has already received support from the industry itself, represented by the International Chamber of Shipping, Getting to Zero Coalition, Maersk, and commodity trader Trafigura.
Shipping decarbonisation headlines have been coming in thick and fast at COP26 in Glasgow in the opening days of the summit.
US president Joe Biden is set to announce the First Movers Coalition as a partnership between the United States and the World Economic Forum. It aims to use the purchasing power of the US government to incentivise corporations to shift toward cleaner and more efficient technologies in sectors with the highest carbon emissions, including shipping and trucking. More details on the new initiative will be carried by Splash tomorrow.