IMO adopts climate-change strategy in line with Paris Agreement

Federico Mansilla
Abril 17, 2018

Following the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, countries around the world took efforts to reduce Carbon dioxide emissions, but the maritime sector was not bound by the agreement's targets.

"If you are building a ship or planning to build a ship in the 2020s, it will likely need to be able to switch to non-fossil fuels later in its life, a factor insurers and shipping financiers will need to consider in their business plans through the next decade".

He said that some governments would have preferred to see the adoption of even more aggressive targets, but he argues that a 50% total cut by 2050 can realistically only be achieved with the development and very widespread use of zero Carbon dioxide fuels. There was limited opposition to the deal with Saudi Arabia and the United States expressing reservations.

This is an important step in the decarbonization of global shipping and is consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the mobilization of concerned industries to meet those goals.

While the European Union had sought a higher level of ambition, the Commission said the deal was "a good starting point that will allow for further review and improvements over time".

The landmark decision brings shipping in line with the aspirations of the Paris Agreement, it added. "Preparations on longer term actions should also begin", Bulc and Cañete said in a joint statement.

Global shipping is responsible for as much GHG emitted over the world as country with the size and output of Germany.

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Dr Tristan Smith, an energy and shipping reader at the UCL Energy Institute, said that the 2050 target is likely to be tightened even further in the future.

Aside from ICS, the outcome of MEPC 72 has been largely welcomed by industry organisations including BIMCO, The Coalition for Clean Shipping and Interferry.

The next step is for the IMO to decide whether to make some of these short-term measures mandatory and determine how to enforce the rules.

A final IMO plan is not expected until 2023.

Experts say that the compromise is not in keeping with the Paris climate agreement goal of keeping temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celcius.

IMO has already adopted global mandatory measures to address the reduction in GHG emissions from ships and is executing global technical cooperation projects to support the capacity of states, particularly developing states, to implement and support energy efficiency in the shipping sector. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

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