The first difficult week of talks on an interim greenhouse gas strategy for shipping saw little progress towards a final outcome with some deep divisions and much work remaining, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. EU states and a ‘high ambition’ coalition called for countries meeting at the International Maritime Organisation to agree emissions reduction targets that are compatible with the Paris agreement. But progress was blocked by a vocal minority composed of developing and flag states.
A call by the shipping industry  for governments to compromise on ambition ahead of key UN discussions to reduce maritime emissions actually abandons the goals of the Paris agreement, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) meets from 3-13 April to adopt an initial greenhouse gas (GHG) strategy for the shipping sector.
EU member states’ decision to support a 70-100% reduction in maritime greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by 2050, compared to 2008 levels, has been welcomed by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E). However, pressure from the major EU shipping nations saw the EU’s common position, agreed last Friday, being made less firm and more aspirational than what the high-ambition EU countries and environmental groups initially called for.  The member states will attend a meeting of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) from 3-13 April to adopt an initial GHG strategy for the shipping sector.
After several attempts to act on ship greenhouse gas emissions, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) finally agreed in 2016 on a seven-year GHG Roadmap (work programme) to discuss and agree on measures to address shipping’s climate impact. The organisation is meeting in London this April 3-13 to agree an initial GHG strategy as part of its GHG Roadmap. This paper outlines what T&E believes that stratedgy should contain.
European ambition to clean up the shipping sector’s greenhouse gas emissions is being led by Germany, Belgium and France, a new ranking shows. The top three, followed by the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and then the UK, Denmark, Luxembourg and Finland, were the most active in pushing for an effective climate plan to be agreed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the UN’s shipping body. The ranking, based on written and oral submissions to the IMO by EU countries, was compiled by sustainable transport NGO Transport & Environment (T&E).
The IMO is expected to adopt in April 2018 an Initial GHG Strategy to address shipping’s climate impact. T&E has carried out research to rank EU member states in terms of the ambition of their declared national positions in the run-up to the IMO climate negotiations.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has moved a step closer to banning the carriage of high-sulphur fuels. The ban, if approved, would make it much easier to enforce the new sulphur standard for marine fuels from 2020.
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.
Moves to close a loophole in enforcement of the cap on high-sulphur marine fuel, which comes into effect in January 2020, have been welcomed by the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC). Ships will be banned at that time from burning any marine fuel with a sulphur content above 0.5%, but the ban does not prevent ships from carrying fuel exceeding the 0.5% limit. This opens up the possibility of massive avoidance by unscrupulous operators when operating out of sight on the high seas.