A week that opened with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres dramatically lambasting governments and industry for their climate inaction, and with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Mitigation report criticising the poor climate governance of international shipping, is set to close with the UN shipping agency again kicking climate concerns into the long grass, and failing to reduce ship-source black carbon (BC) emissions, which make up 20% of shipping’s climate impact.

Ahead of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Pollution Prevention and Response sub-committee PPR 9 meeting, which ends tomorrow, Seas at Risk and the Clean Arctic Alliance called on IMO member states to slash the impact of black carbon emissions on the Arctic by developing a mandatory regulation requiring a switch to distillate or alternative cleaner fuels or methods of propulsion for vessels operating in or near Arctic water, and to start work to agree a fuel standard that would reduce black carbon from shipping globally.

Despite the urgent calls from the UN Secretary General, the IMO has wasted the past week agreeing to terms of reference for future work aimed at the development of non-binding recommendatory guidance, and not the prioritisation of actual legal requirements that would guarantee black carbon emission reductions in the future.


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