The Paris Agreement’s objectives cannot be achieved without action to address rapidly growing emissions from international aviation and shipping, however these emissions sit outside of national targets. At the conclusion of COP21, the two UN agencies which regulate these sectors (ICAO for aviation and IMO for shipping) promised big action in 2016. Did they deliver? The event will consider what progress, if any, was made this year, what impact it may have on these sectors and what needs to happen now.
Abandoning a review of ship efficiency targets until 2018 at the earliest, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today turned down an easy opportunity to act on climate change, environmental groups Transport & Environment (T&E) and Seas at Risk (SAR), members of the Clean Shipping Coalition, have said.
The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) decision this week to delay by at least a further seven years any agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping constitutes an abject failure by national governments and the shipping industry, leading members of the European Parliament and an environmental NGO have said. The IMO first established a work plan on GHGs in 2003, but this week it decided to create a fresh process for yet more talks – betraying the Paris agreement’s call for urgent action to limit global warming at 1.5/2°C.
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.
In March 2016, the states surrounding the Baltic Sea, North Sea and the English Channel agreed to apply for the designation of these seas as NOx Emission Control Areas (NECAs) under the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). An 80% reduction of NOx emissions reduction will be required from new ships only when sailing in NECAs. Other EU seas are not affected.