Greeks back IMO's emissions target

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 16, 2018

It called the move, agreed on Friday in London, "a first but critical step towards the industry's decarbonisation".

More than 170 countries have struck a deal to halve greenhouse gas emissions produced by global shipping by 2050 compared to levels seen ten years ago.

It says European Union nations and the Marshall Islands supported a goal of cutting emissions by between 70% and 100% by 2050 but this was opposed by the US, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Panama. The vision confirms IMO's commitment to reducing GHG emissions from worldwide shipping and, as a matter of urgency, to phasing them out as soon as possible.

Addressing the plenary, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim stressed that, though the agreement may not be ideal, it sent a clear signal to the shipping industry. "Without these the goals of the Paris agreement will remain out of reach", he warned.

UGS believes the solution is "a balanced political compromise and one that could be workable for the shipping industry". But the IMO Secretary General stressed that the agreement was only an initial strategy, a "starting point", with the final roadmap to be finalised by 2023.

"This is only the beginning of a long and arduous road to ensure that feasible and workable global measures are developed and implemented in a way that guarantees safety and a global level playing field, while minimising their potential impact on the growing world economy and increasing worldwide trade", Veniamis said.

The agreement also reflects issues flagged by developing countries such as India and Brazil. The initial strategy clearly includes reference to the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities.

Expectations are that over the next few years this target will be tightened and brought closer in line with the Paris Agreement commitments.

While he admitted that such changes are "massive" for a global industry with over 50,000 ships trading internationally, Smith said these reductions can be achieved "with the correct level of investment and better regulation".

Experts say that it sends a strong signal to the shipping industry and fuel suppliers.

John Maggs, President of the Clean Shipping Coalition and senior policy advisor, Seas At Risk, said, "We have an important agreement, and this level of ambition will ultimately require a sector-wide shift to new fuels and propulsion technologies, but what happens next is crucial".

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