A GREENHOUSE gas reduction strategy must be reduced agreed as a priority, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) says.
The ICS also warned recalcitrant governments not to stymie progress.
The ICS along with other parties has been working on a draft GHG strategy which is expected to be submitted to the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) this week.
Following a recent IMO meeting in London, ICS deputy Secretary General Simon Bennett acknowledged the challenges of attempting to negotiate “a Paris Agreement for the shipping industry”.
“The enormous political challenges involved really cannot be exaggerated,” Mr Bennett said. “But the goals now tentatively agreed by most governments for short term efficiency improvement, and for mid-century GHG reduction by the sector as whole, should be sufficiently ambitious to provide the signal needed to stimulate the development of zero CO2 fuels, so we can collectively get on with the job of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from shipping as soon as possible,” he said.
“The industry is very impressed by the willingness of governments on all sides of the debate to cooperate and compromise. This includes those developing nations with valid concerns about the potential impact on trade and sustainable development.”
Mr Bennett said while some further fine tuning of the strategy would be required by the MEPC, it was vital those governments serious about helping shipping reduce CO2 remained loyal “unless they wish to risk unravelling what will be a very significant climate deal covering a major industrial sector that moves around 90% of global trade”.
“ICS is optimistic that those flag states which control the vast majority of the world’s merchant shipping tonnage will support the high level of ambition which is now proposed, provided that other nations, such as the United States, do not actively seek to derail an agreement during the discussions at the MEPC this week,” he said.