Today’s decision by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to cap the sulphur content of marine fuels sold worldwide at 0.5% by 2020 has been applauded by environmental groups Transport & Environment and Seas At Risk, which are members of the Clean Shipping Coalition. This will reduce SO2 emissions – which cause premature deaths from diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease – from shipping by 85% compared with today’s levels.
The on-time implementation (in 2020) of a global low-sulphur fuel law for ships would prevent 200,000 premature deaths globally, a health study by a group of leading researchers from the United States and Finland reveals. Oil and gas industry association IPIECA and a group of shipping companies represented by BIMCO, are pushing hard to delay the measure for five years, The Guardian reveals. Later this month the International Marine Organisation (IMO) will decide whether to stick to the 2020 date, which was agreed by acclamation back in 2008 . NGOs Seas at Risk and Transport & Environment (T&E), observers at the IMO, condemn any delay in the implementation of the sulphur cap for ship fuel, which would be unacceptable and unjustifiable.
The announcement of new CO2 standards for cars, vans and, for the first time in Europe, trucks forms the centrepiece of the EU’s strategy for low-emission mobility and has been welcomed by Transport & Environment (T&E) as a meaningful step in the fight against climate change. But the Commission’s plan is completely devoid of ambition on cutting emissions from aviation and shipping, the sustainable transport group said.
The overall direction for road transport in today’s leaked draft of the European Commission strategy for low-emission mobility has been welcomed by Transport & Environment (T&E), though the sustainable transport group has urged stronger action on greenhouse gases from international aviation and shipping.
Joint statement by T&E, EEB and Shipbreaking Platform:Ships regardless of their flag should not be allowed to call at any EU port without a ship recycling license to incentivise sustainable ship recycling, a European Commission report recommends.
A levy on nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions with revenues earmarked to fund the uptake of NOx abatement measures is the most promising tool to reduce these ship emissions by up to 70%, a new study by environmental consultancy IVL and CE Delft reveals. The study, commissioned by Transport & Environment (T&E), identifies for the first time the policy options available at the EU level to regulate ship NOx emissions in the EU seas and compares them with the measures to be taken under the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). In addition to a NOx levy with a fund, the study identified two other EU-level policy tools: mandatory slow steaming of ships (with a levy and fund as an alternative compliance option) and a stand-alone levy on emitted NOx.
The Maersk Group’s plan to avoid European environmental law on ship recycling by flagging ships to non-EU flags seriously undermines its credibility as a responsible ship operator, the Clean Shipping Coalition has said. The Danish shipping giant said it will need to scrap more vessels in the coming years due to oversupply and low freight rates in the container market, and it estimates it can earn an additional US $1-2 million per ship by using beaching yards in Alang, India.
The EU’s failure to push for a ban on the use by ships of heavy fuel oil (HFO), a toxic pollutant, when operating in the Arctic is a major cause of concern, a group of eight environmental NGOs has said. However, they welcomed the European Commission’s focus on climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and on protecting the environment in its new Arctic strategy.
The shipping sector’s response to the Paris climate agreement was left in disarray after governments attending a meeting of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today were unable to even agree on a work plan to develop a ‘fair share’ contribution to the goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5/2°C. The IMO could only manage to kick the can down the road to its next meeting in October.
The European Parliament today called on EU governments to align the 2030 EU climate target with the Paris Agreement and introduce EU measures to cut emissions from aviation and shipping. In a letter sent to Europe’s ministers of transport and environment, the heads of seven political groups of the Parliament's environment committee also demanded greater climate ambition at both ICAO and IMO, the UN bodies charged with regulating emissions from aircraft and ships respectively, and at EU level.