[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]But key developing states led by China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Saudi Arabia who had been deeply involved in the process all along, blocked the adoption process at a late Friday session of the IMO MEPC (1).
Bill Hemmings, of EU sustainable transport campaigners Transport & Environment (T&E) said:
“Fuel efficiency standards are key to cutting greenhouse gas emissions across the transport sector. It’s extremely disappointing to see such an obvious win-win policy blocked by a handful of short-sighted countries. Some developing countries appear to be worried about setting a precedent whereby a climate-related policy affects all countries equally. But that’s a missed opportunity because developing countries will benefit just as much as developed countries from ships that use less fuel.”
The question of how to proceed with the design index is likely to be considered again at IMO’s next session in mid 2011 but last week’s failure to agree is a major setback to global agreement on the issue.
The IMO’s efforts to develop a trading system to cut greenhouse gas emissions were also frustrated at last week’s meeting. Experts had analysed alternatives over the summer and come up with three key options: a global fund, emissions trading and the trading of efficiency credits based on the now-delayed design index.
The IMO will hold a special session to consider these issues further but discussions at last week’s meeting suggest developing countries will continue to frustrate progress by debating at length legal and political issues already studied by the experts, such as compatibility with the UNFCCC process and world trade rules.
John Maggs of Seas at Risk said: “The IMO process is stuck again until at least mid-2011 so it is now up to the EU to take the lead on agreeing measures to start cutting emissions from the shipping sector.”
– Seas at Risk (SAR) and Transport & Environment (T&E) attended the meetings on behalf of the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) which has observer status at the IMO. (www.cleanshipping.org)