The UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) took a tentative step towards a plan to cut shipping’s climate emissions earlier this month. Countries meeting at the IMO’s environment committee agreed to ‘headings’ to be included in a strategy, which itself will be the first step of a broader plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The details of each section are to be decided at a meeting in October, and a draft strategy agreed by 2018. However, the strategy will not be finalised until 2023.
The EU and China have reacted to US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord by agreeing to cooperate to ensure aviation and shipping play their part in tackling climate change. T&E has welcomed the agreement, but fears the US withdrawal will slow down progress in shipping. Such a worrying sentiment was felt within the shipping industry, too.
MEPs have called on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to ban the highly polluting marine fuel ‘heavy fuel oil’ – sometimes referred to as ‘residual fuel’ – from use in Arctic waters. The full European Parliament wants the IMO’s environment committee to discuss outlawing the use of HFO in the Arctic when it meets in July.
MEPs’ proposal to include shipping in the EU emissions trading system (ETS) from 2023, if the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) fails to agree a global measure to reduce shipping emissions, should be a wake-up call for the UN agency, a senior European Commission official has said. The remarks come as EU governments weigh up what’s described as a necessary ‘insurance policy’ in case the IMO again fails to act.
· MEPs also back tightening cap on aviation emissions.Support from ports and cargo owners for last week’s vote by MEPs to include shipping emissions in the EU emissions trading system (ETS) has been sharply criticised by shipowners. The European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) said it ‘deplores’ the shipping industry’s backing for Europe regulating ship CO2 as a ‘first move’ to kick start action at global level. Shipping in Europe has CO2 emissions equal those of the Netherlands.
By Bill Hemmings, aviation and shipping directorWHAT WE LEARNED IN 2016: 2015 ended with big promises from the UN aviation and shipping bodies, ICAO and the IMO, that they’d finally act to rein in their sectors’ substantial and growing climate impact. It has been almost 20 years since they were first tasked with doing so by the Kyoto Protocol, and 2016 would be their last chance.