Developing nations block fuel efficiency for ships

October 25, 2010

T&E and other NGOs have called for the EU to bring shipping into the Emissions Trading Scheme after several emerging nations blocked the first global measure to cut carbon emissions from newly-built ships.

The International Maritime Organisation’s environmental committee was set to approve an Energy Efficient Design Index (EEDI) that would have limited carbon emissions from new ships. But despite being part of the process that drew up the EEDI, a group of states led by China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Saudi Arabia blocked the index becoming part of international maritime law.

The IMO made progress over the summer on studying market-based instruments, but the same countries who blocked the energy index have now slowed down the process, which suggests the outlook for a global trading system is not good. The efficiency index and global instruments will be considered again at the next full IMO session in mid-2011.

The head of the IMO Efthimious Mitropoulos had already warned delegates this was the IMO’s last chance to prove they are serious about cutting emissions. T&E policy officer Bill Hemmings said: ‘It’s extremely disappointing to see such an obvious win/win policy blocked by a handful of short-sighted countries – developing countries will benefit just as much as developed countries from ships that use less fuel.’

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