In this letter CAN Europe, Seas At Risk, Transport & Environment, Carbon Market Watch and the Aviation Environment Federation urge the European Commission to ensure the aviation and maritime sectors reduce emissions in line with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
In a welcome development the Environment Committee of the European Parliament agreed to support the inclusion of shipping in a revised EU greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme (ETS). Under the proposal shipping would be included in the ETS from 2023 if the International Maritime Organisation fails to establish a global measure by the deadline they agreed earlier this year.
Environmental groups strongly criticised the most recent International Maritime Organisation (IMO) response to the Paris Agreement objective of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees, and in particular the lack of an agreement to establish a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for the shipping sector. The outcome fails to allay fears that the IMO might be unable to tackle this issue in an effective and timely manner and reinforces the argument that the EU should push ahead with its own regional measure.
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 Arctic is particular vulnerable to climate change and to the environmental impacts of shipping.
The Arctic is warming at least twice as fast as the global average with emissions of black carbon (sometimes known as soot) making a significant contribution. Ice normally reflects solar radiation but black carbon falling on ice absorbs it helping accelerate warming and ice melt. Black carbon comes from various sources, but shipping is a significant and growing part of the problem. As the ice melts, ships can shorten their routes by sailing through the Artic sea and shipping activity in the Arctic is predicted to grow significantly.
Seas At Risk is pushing for the International Maritime Organisation to agree measures that would limit black carbon emissions from international shipping.
Dirty ship fuels contribute to black carbon emissions and Seas at Risk is also working with the Clean Arctic Alliance towards a ban on the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO), the dirtiest of ships fuels, in the Arctic. This will reduce black carbon emissions and the risk of a heavy fuel oil spill in the Arctic. The latter is of particular concern as a heavy fuel oil spill in Arctic waters would be impossible to clean up effectively, and have a serious impact on wildlife and the natural resources that the traditional inhabitants of the Arctic often rely on for their livelihoods. For more on the “HFO Free Arctic” campaign look here.
8 June is the United Nations day for World Oceans. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘healthy oceans, healthy planet’, yet developments during 2016 have shown just how much more needs to be done to preserve our seas from the effects of human activity.
London – Responding to today’s adoption by the International Maritime Organisation of the long-awaited Polar Code, aimed at regulating shipping in Polar Regions, a coalition of environmental groups criticised the measures for not going far enough to adequately protect the fragile Arctic and Antarctic environments.
London - NGOs call on shipping industry regulator to drive down costs, trigger improved fuel efficiency and reduce ship GHG emissions through efficiency data transparency.
London, 4th April 2014 – The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has abandoned the fixed start date of 2016 for the fitting on ships of advanced (Tier III) equipment for use in NOx emission control areas (NECAs), giving in to Russian political pressure and endangering the health of Europeans.
Brussels, 24th January 2014 – The new draft ‘Polar Code’ of safety and environmental rules fails to address the looming danger of having non ice-strengthened and poorly prepared ships in supposedly ‘ice-free’ polar waters, environmental organisations have warned.
The 66th session of the International Maritime Organisation’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC66) this April will see further attempts by industry and countries that support industry by providing “flags of convenience” (ie: countries who allow vessels to use their flags without much control) to undermine the implementation of important ship air pollution agreements.
Brussels, 9th January 2014 - Advanced emissions monitoring of large ships calling at EU ports could help save owners and operators of large ships up to €9 million/year, according to a new study  published jointly by Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment.
The European Commission has published today a proposal to monitor, report and verify (MRV) ship greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The measure will apply to all ships calling at EU ports and could be a precursor to actual reduction measures.