ICS Chairman Outlines Plan for CO2 Reduction

Photo: ICS

Posted by Eric Haun

Esben Poulsson, Chairman of the International Chamber of
Shipping, has set out what the industry would like the
International Maritime Organization (IMO) to achieve as part of
its CO2 reduction strategy for the shipping sector.

Speaking at The Economist's World Ocean Summit in
Indonesia, Poulsson said that unless IMO makes significant
progress the industry could be vulnerable to regional action, not
only from the EU - which is considering incorporating shipping
into the EU Emissions Trading System - but also from Canada or
California, which have already introduced carbon pricing.

"We are confident IMO can adopt an ambitious strategy by 2018
matching the spirit of the Paris Agreement. However, IMO needs to
agree a baseline year for peak CO2 emissions from shipping, as
well as setting out some serious long term aspirations for
dramatically cutting the sector's total CO2 by the middle of the
century," Poulsson said.

ICS stresses that IMO should adopt objectives for the entire
sector, not for individual ships, in the same way that
governments have already agreed CO2 commitments for their
national economies under the Paris Agreement. IMO also needs to
agree a mechanism for delivery which ICS would like to see in
place by 2023. If IMO decides to develop a Market Based Measure,
ICS says that the clear preference of the industry is for a
bunker fuel levy.

Poulsson added that any IMO goals that are sufficiently ambitious
to allow shipping to play its part in achieving the United
Nations '2 degree' climate change target should also be
realistic. "Ambitious CO2 reduction objectives will only be
achievable with alternative marine fuels which do not yet exist,
although we are very confident that they will be available in the
not too distant future," Poulsson said.

Widespread availability of alternative fuels (such as hydrogen or
fuel cells) is not expected for at least another 20 or 30 years.
ICS says the sector's total CO2 has already been reduced by more
than 10 percent between 2007 and 2012. But projections for trade
growth - over which the industry has no control, due to
population growth and improved global living standards - suggest
that dramatic reductions in the sector's total CO2 will be
difficult to achieve in the immediate future until alternative
marine fuels become widely available.

In the meantime, ICS argues that any CO2 reduction goals agreed
by IMO must also address the legitimate and valid concerns of
developing nations about the potential impacts on trade and
sustainable development. According to the United Nations, 60
percent of maritime trade now serves developing nations.

Feb 24, 2017

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