This blogpost was first published in EurActiv.The UNFCCC negotiating text took an important step forward last week with the inclusion in the text of wording calling for the setting of emission reduction targets for international shipping and aviation, in the context of the objective of the agreement – which is to limit any temperature increase to 2 degrees.
The European Commission has published today a proposal to monitor, report and verify (MRV) on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping. This measure will apply to all ships calling at EU ports and could to set the baseline for an eventual measure to actually require emissions reductions. Shipping is responsible for over 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and these will double by 2020 if nothing is done to curb them.
As the decline of Arctic sea-ice continues, the prospect of an ice-free Arctic ocean in the near future draws closer. Arctic melting is seen by industry and some governments as an opportunity to develop human and exploitative activities in the region (oil and gas production, mining, shipping, tourism). But while Arctic melting is surely an effect of climate change, it is imperative that it does not become another cause of climate change. This vicious circle threatening the Arctic and the global ecosystems needs to be broken.