A coalition of NGOs from around the world are calling on the International Maritime Organisation to agree binding GHG emission reduction targets and measures for shipping ahead of December's UNFCCC climate meeting in Copenhagen.

 

A coalition of NGOs from around the world are calling on the International Maritime Organisation to agree binding GHG emission reduction targets and measures for shipping ahead of December's UNFCCC climate meeting in Copenhagen.

In a paper submitted to the 59th session of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (London, 13-17/7/09) the NGOs highlight the seriousness of climate change, the scale of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, and the ready potential for affordable and effective mitigation.

Shipping was left out of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol targets but developed countries agreed to pursue reductions through the IMO. In the twelve years since then the IMO has failed to agree on a single binding regulatory measure to reduce emissions, and emissions have risen by c. 50%.

The call for reductions in ship CO2 emissions has been much strengthened by the recent publication of the Second IMO GHG Study (2009) which identifies massive mitigation potential within the industry. Improved design and operational arrangements are estimated to be capable of reducing emissions by up to 75%, with a 20% reduction by 2020 possible at no cost to the industry.

Time is running out for the IMO. If it is not to risk loosing its competence in technical and political matters related to shipping and GHGs then it must use MEPC 59 to adopt ambitious targets, strict timetables, and a robust set of economic, technical and operational measures as the basis for shipping’s inclusion in the UNFCCC Copenhagen climate change deal.

 

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