Reducing the negative environmental impact of global trade is becoming an international priority.
Shipping was the only industry not included in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. According to the World Bank, if shipping was a country it would rank as the sixth largest emitter of greenhouse gases. By 2050, if unchecked, this could amount to 15% of global carbon emissions.
Now, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is publishing its own insights into the issue, endorsing the UN International Maritime Organisation’s ambitious strategy for phasing out CO2 emissions entirely by 2050.
The IMO Emissions Agreement
The April 2018 International Maritime Organisation (IMO) meeting in London has been hailed as the equivalent of the Paris Agreement for shipping. Here, representatives from 170 countries came to a final agreement for an eventual switch away from fossil fuels, despite some opposition.
This is the first time the world’s shipping industry has come together to define its commitment to get to grips with climate change.
The strategy is ambitious, and includes an efficiency improvement of at least 40% when set against 2008 levels, and a 50% cut of the shipping sector’s total greenhouse emissions by 2050. This is regardless of future trade growth.
It also looks at the option of delivering of zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
There is, however, some concern from countries about rapid changes to the shipping sector and how these might impact their economies.
In its publication, Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero, the ICS acknowledges these concerns by making it clear its own, firm opposition to the concept of a mandatory operational efficiency index for individual ships.
Exploring the Possibilities
As well as endorsing the IMO strategy, the ICS publication explores the possibilities of developing zero CO2 fuels for shipping to meet the emissions targets.
In Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero, the ICS also explains why the EU must align its own regional system for collecting CO2 data from ships with the IMO’s global system.
“We now expect discussions at IMO to begin in earnest on the development of additional CO2 reduction measures, including those to be implemented before 2023,” states ICS Chairman Esben Poulson, in the publication’s introduction.
He also makes it clear that the ICS will continue to play a constructive role regarding this issue.
You can read or download Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero here.