ICS produces briefing document for climate change negotiators

icslogoThe shipping industry is hoping that governments negotiating a UN accord on climate change will sign off on efforts being made at IMO to reduce emissions from ships.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – which represents all sectors and trades of the global shipping industry and more than 80 percent of the world merchant fleet – has produced a briefing document for government climate change negotiators in advance of the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP 17), which commences in Durban at the end of November.  

Entitled "Shipping, World Trade and the Reduction of CO2 Emissions" is being distributed via ICS member national shipowners' associations and can be downloaded at www.ics-shipping.org/CO2lowres.pdf 

ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe explained: "The international shipping industry is firmly committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by twenty per cent by 2020, with significant further reductions thereafter. However, the Durban Climate Change Conference needs to give the International Maritime Organization a clear mandate to continue its vital work to help us deliver further emission reductions through the development of Market Based Measures." 

The ICS hopes that governments at COP 17 will respond positively to the significant IMO agreement, in July 2011, to adopt a package of technical measures to reduce shipping's CO2 emissions – which by 2030 should reduce ships' emissions by 25-30 percent compared to "business as usual." This is the first ever international agreement containing binding and mandatory measures to reduce CO2 emissions that has so far been agreed for an entire industrial sector. 

ICS believes that IMO is now very well placed to continue the real progress it is making on Market Based Measures to help deliver further emissions reductions. This includes a possible shipping industry environmental compensation fund – with possible linkages to any "Green Fund" agreed by the UN. ICS says this could address the Kyoto Protocol principle of "Common But Differentiated Responsibility" (CBDR) by directing the lion's share of any funds raised from international shipping to environment related projects in developing countries, including climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

ICS is trying to get across to governments that without a global framework agreed by IMO there is a serious risk of regional or unilateral measures attempting to regulate CO2 emissions for shipping. This, says ICS would have a seriously distorting effect on international shipping markets, and would also be much less effective in delivering meaningful reductions in CO2 emissions by the global shipping sector as a whole.

The ICS Document explains why shipping is a global industry requiring global regulation, and contains details of the measures that the industry and its international regulator (IMO) are taking to reduce ship emissions; means by which IMO might take account of the UNFCCC CBDR principle; and the reasons why shipping does not lend itself to inclusion in national CO2 emissions targets. 

November 14, 2011

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