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.
The dropping of international aviation and shipping emissions from the draft Paris climate agreement published this afternoon has fatally undermined the prospects of keeping global warming below 2°C, green NGOs Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment (T&E) have said. As their emissions uniquely fall outside national reduction targets, they require an explicit reference in the agreement.
The presentation of the satirical Fossil of the Day award today in Paris to the UN bodies responsible for regulating international aviation and shipping emissions is just recognition of their totally inadequate contributions to fighting climate change, green group Transport & Environment has said. Emissions from planes and ships are the elephants in the climate talks room as they remain the only sectors of the international economy not being required to submit reduction pledges.
Aviation emissions are responsible for 5% of global warming and shipping makes up almost 3% of global CO2. These sectors have a CO2 impact equal to the UK and Germany and are continuing to grow rapidly – by up to 270% in 2050, by which time they could account for almost 40% of all emissions. Such emission growth will undermine reductions efforts by all countries and other sectors, effectively making the 1.5/2°C objective impossible to achieve.
Shipping could be responsible for 17% of global CO2 emissions in 2050 if left unregulated, according to a new scientific study. Any agreement at the Paris Climate Summit must therefore send a clear signal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that CO2 reduction targets and measures for shipping are needed to help keep warming below dangerous levels, according to NGOs Seas At Risk, Transport & Environment (T&E) and the Marine Conservation Society.
In this letter, the Clean Shipping Coalition and the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation highlight the absence of emissions from international aviation and shipping from the draft Paris COP21 agreement. They call on the UN leadership to act immediately with Parties to the UNFCCC to ensure that the language in previous drafts on aviation and shipping emissions is reinstated - these sectors must adopt credible targets and measures. International aviation and shipping emissions are growing rapidly, and their exclusion will critically undermine efforts to limit a temperature increase to 1.5/2 degrees.
MEPs today called on the EU and all other countries at this year’s Paris climate summit to ensure a requirement is included for reducing emissions from international aviation and shipping. Parliamentarians called for emissions reduction targets for both sectors to be set before the end of 2016 by the corresponding UN agencies, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).