With just over two weeks to go until COP26, a major international climate summit, the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has taken aim at shipping and aviation for their slowness down the path towards decarbonisation.
Speaking at the Global Sustainable Transport conference on Thursday, Guterres said: “Let’s be honest. While [UN] member states have made some initial steps through the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to address emissions from shipping and aviation, current commitments are not aligned with the 1.5C goal of the Paris agreement. In fact, they are more consistent with warming way above 3C.”
Both aviation and shipping are expected to face greater scrutiny over their carbon footprint when COP26 delegates gather in Glasgow at the end of the month. Shipping will also find out what upcoming environmental legislation is agreed upon when the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meets next month.
“Adopting a new set of more ambitious and credible targets that are truly consistent with the goals of the Paris agreement must be an urgent priority for both these bodies [ICAO and IMO] in the months and years ahead,” Guterres said, his comments all the more pertinent as green shipping legislation risks splintering soon with the European Union looking at setting its own shipping green measures.
Guterres also called for zero-emission ships to be made commercially available by 2030.
Splash will be bringing readers regular updates from both COP26 and MEPC over the coming six weeks.