THE International Chamber of Shipping joined in the chorus of organisations hailing the International Maritime Organization’s plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.
The ICS welcomed the strategy, adopted on 13 April, with ICS secretary general Peter Hinchliffe calling it a “Paris Agreement for shipping”, referring to the 2015 UN agreement on greenhouse gas emissions mitigation.
“[The agreement] sets a very high level of ambition for the future reduction of CO2 emissions,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“We are confident this will give the shipping industry the clear signal it needs to get on with the job of developing zero CO2 fuels, so that the entire sector will be in a position to decarbonise completely, consistent with the 1.5 degree climate change goal.”
A central aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep global temperature increases this century below 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, and work to limit temperature increases further to 1.5 degrees.
Mr Hinchliffe said the agreed IMO objective of cutting the sector’s total GHG emissions by at least 50% before 2050, as part of a continuing pathway for further reduction, was “very ambitious”, especially when account is taken of current projections for trade growth as the world’s population and levels of prosperity continue to increase.
In a statement the ICS acknowledged that some governments would have preferred to see more aggressive targets, but argues that the targets adopted would require the development and widespread use of zero CO2 fuels in shipping.
The ICS believes that if the 50% goal is met, the wholesale switch by the industry to zero CO2 fuels would follow swiftly thereafter.
Mr Hinchliffe said: “The industry is very encouraged by the willingness of governments, on all sides of the debate, to co-operate and move to a position that demonstrates unequivocally that IMO is the only body that can meaningfully address the CO2 emissions of international shipping.”
The ICS expressed the hope that the new IMO agreement would be sufficient to discourage those who “mistakenly” advocate regional measures, which the Chamber said would be “very damaging” to international trade and would not help the international shipping industry reduce its total CO2 emissions.
When the IMO’s greenhouse gas emissions strategy was adopted on Friday during its 72nd session at IMO Headquarters in London, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said it was an illustration of the IMO spirit of co-operation, and would allow future IMO work on climate change to be rooted in a solid basis.
“I encourage you to continue your work through the newly adopted Initial GHG Strategy which is designed as a platform for future actions,” the Secretary-General told delegates.
“I am confident in relying on your ability to relentlessly continue your efforts and develop further actions that will soon contribute to reducing GHG emissions from ships.”