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Shipping must be covered by ETS or climate fund – MEPs

The Paris climate agreement’s target of limiting global warming well below 2°C will be impossible without measures to curb shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions, MEPs told industry representatives last week. Including shipping CO2 in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) or having the sector contribute to a climate compensation fund were the options on the table, they said.

Shipping sector in a state of confusion

Over the course of the year the extent of the shipping industry’s confusion – some would say delusion – on how to clean up its emissions became clear. Sitting in meeting rooms in London and Paris, we heard officials from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and industry profess their opposition to regional measures to reduce CO2 and then fail to address the problem at the global forum, the Paris climate conference.

‘Ambitious countries must push for aviation and shipping in climate deal’

Countries calling for an ambitious agreement at the Paris climate summit must insist that language on aviation and shipping emissions be reinserted or the prospects of keeping global warming below 2°C, let alone 1.5°C, will be fatally undermined, green groups have warned. The latest draft deal, issued days before talks are due to end, dropped any mention of the two international transport sectors, which fall outside national reduction targets and therefore require an explicit reference in the agreement.

Herding elephants in Paris

The Paris ‘Conference of the Parties’ 21, the most important climate conference since the failed Copenhagen one of six years ago, is nearing an outcome. The dramatic 13 November events in the city has surely added grit to France’s determination to succeed, and has forged some unusual alliances. There is some hope that the spirit of togetherness – not just against terrorism but also to tackle that other global threat which the COP is about – will help in forging a transformative deal.

IMO fends off Marshall Islands call for reduction target

‘Any increase beyond 2 degrees is a death warrant for our countries,’ the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, Tony de Brum, has warned after the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) sidelined his country’s plea for a global CO2 target for shipping.

New ship designs less fuel-efficient than those built in 1990

New ships are on average less fuel-efficient than those built in 1990, according to the first ever study of the historical development of the design efficiency of new ships. A second study also found many recently-constructed ships already meet the International Maritime Organisation’s design efficiency standard for 2020 (EEDI), which is up for review when the IMO meets next week. Both documents suggest that more stringent efficiency standards are within reach.

Electro-mobility and alternative fuels central to ‘energy union’ agenda

Further decarbonisation of transport through a shift to alternative fuels and electro-mobility forms a major part of the European Commission’s strategy for an ‘energy union’, unveiled last week. With transport being responsible for more than 30% of EU energy consumption and a quarter of emissions, the Commission said legislation on ‘decarbonising the transport sector, including an action plan on alternative fuels’ would be put forward in 2017.

Ships’ energy performance to be measured for first time

All shipping companies calling at EU ports will, for the first time, have to measure and publicly report ships’ energy performance, including carbon emissions, under a law approved by the European Parliament’s environment committee and EU environment ministers. But the regulation, which still requires the support of the Parliament plenary, only monitors fuel consumption instead of directly reducing it, and only covers CO2 and not air pollutants like SO2 or NOx.

New Polar Code ‘too weak’ to protect polar environments

The world’s first code of conduct for ships using the newly accessible Arctic shipping routes has been agreed, but environmental groups say it does not go far enough and, without further strengthening, it is just a question of when a serious incident occurs in the Arctic and Antarctic environments.

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