The 1.5/2°C warming limit agreed at the Paris climate summit will be impossible to meet unless Europe and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduce measures to cut shipping emissions, NGOs Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment have warned. Shipping could be responsible for 17% of global CO2 emissions in 2050 if left unregulated, according to an EU study, placing climate action firmly at the top of the EU commissioners’ and IMO secretary-general’s agendas when they meet in Brussels today.
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.
Transport & Environment (T&E), with the financial support of Umweltbundesamt (UBA), is convening a policy discussion on the contribution of shipping to the EU's emissions reduction targets for 2030. The event will bring together high-profile speakers from industry, governments and academia and NGOs to discuss how the sector can carries its fair share of the burden to meet the objectives of the Paris climate agreement.
Last year was the one in which it became plain for everyone to see that transport had turned from being the grey sheep to the black sheep in Europe and the world’s efforts to improve the environment.
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.
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.
‘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.
Speech delivered by Jos Dings, T&E director, at the European Parliament Transport Committee’s hearing on the White Paper on Transport on 17 March 2015.
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.