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  • Europe will act on shipping emissions if IMO doesn’t, say MEPs and governments

    EU governments and MEPs last night agreed that Europe should act on shipping emissions from 2023 if the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) fails to deliver effective global measures. Green transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the agreement on an urgent environmental and sovereignty issue. It said Europe cannot indefinitely outsource its climate responsibility to the IMO given that the UN agency has repeatedly shown itself incapable of delivering the required level of ambition.

    At last month’s IMO meeting, calls for urgent action to bring about ship greenhouse gas emissions reductions before 2023 were met with heavy push-back by many countries and big industry groups. Even the idea of starting a discussion on these immediate measures – such as operational speed reduction for ships – was blocked. Calls for longer-term emission reduction targets to meet the 1.5ºC warming limit also faced insurmountable opposition.

    Faig Abbasov, shipping and aviation officer at T&E, said: “The EU is sending a strong signal to the IMO that it needs to deliver, and that ‘action’ means much more than just talking. If the IMO fails, then Europe has a responsibility to its citizens to ensure that all sectors contribute to global climate action and that shipping is not exempt.”