A Norwegian ship has made the first-ever unassisted winter crossing of the Northern Sea Route. The Eduard Toll knocked around 3,000 nautical miles off its journey from South Korea to France via northern Russia without needing to be accompanied by an icebreaker. T&E says this journey was only possible due to climate change and will lead to further damage to the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
Almost every Christmas gift you gave or received two months ago was transported vast distances across the ocean, spending weeks inside a shipping container. What powers these epic journeys across the globe? Unfortunately, it’s not reindeers. It’s the black, sludgy dregs of the refining process known as heavy fuel oil. Each tonne, when burned, releases several thousand times the amount of sulphur and tiny lung-damaging particles that petrol or diesel cars do, while also contributing to dangerous climate change.
A Dutch shipbuilding company says it will start operating electricity-powered container ships in August. The barges, which can run without any crew, are powered by seven-metre battery packs charged up on land. The company says use of the barges between three Dutch ports will take around 23,000 trucks off the roads.
Some 35 world leaders have called for shipping emissions to be part of every country’s emissions reductions commitments under the Paris climate agreement. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the leaders’ recognition of the need for economy-wide action, as mandated by the 2015 accord, with shipping being a key sector – responsible for around 3% of global CO2 emissions.
A report by two respected climate scientists says the EU’s plans for natural gas as an energy source are incompatible with its commitment to the 2015 Paris climate accord. The report’s authors say Europe has just nine years left to burn fossil fuels at the current rate if global temperatures are to stay below a 2°C increase.
The EU has confirmed its intention to include shipping in its emissions trading system (ETS) if the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) does not deliver effective global measures to reduce emissions from ships by 2023. Both T&E and the shipping industry said the outcome was a partial victory.
Today’s call by MEPs to ban the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic and put in place greenhouse gas reduction measures by 2023 must be followed through with speedy action by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), said sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E). Both Arctic HFO and climate action will be discussed by the IMO environment committee in April 2018, and today’s vote by the European Parliament environment committee also demanded action at EU level if the IMO fails to act on either issue. 
This opinion article, by Faig Abbasov, Aviation and shipping officer was first published by Huffpost.Imagine writing a diet plan to lose weight where your calorific targets consistently exceeded what you were actually eating.Bizarre as it sounds, that’s effectively what the UN’s shipping body - the International Maritime Organisation - did when it released efficiency standards for the global fleet in 2013.