ICS, whose membership comprises national shipowners' associations from 37 countries representing more than 80% of the world merchant fleet, has some key messages for government negotiators on the progress shipping is making to reduce its carbon footprint.
According to ICS, the global industry is already delivering carbon neutral growth having reduced total CO2 emissions by more than 10% since 2007, despite an increase in maritime trade.
CO2 emissions from international shipping now represent just 2.2% of the world's total CO2 emissions compared to 2.8% in 2007 (UN IMO Green House Gas Study, 2014).
"These are genuine reductions through fuel efficiency, without the need for complex virtual measures such as carbon offsets," said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe. "With bigger ships, better engines and smarter speed management, the industry is confident of a 50% CO2 reduction by 2050 when the entire world fleet will comprise super fuel-efficient ships, many using clean fuels such as LNG."
But in the run-up to the Paris Conference, the shipping industry recognizes that governments expect more.
IMO has already set a mandatory target whereby all ships built from 2025 (including those in developing nations) must be 30% more efficient than ships built in the 2000s. This applies to over 95% of the world merchant fleet, under new regulations that came into force worldwide in 2013.
ICS says that IMO is the only place that can ensure that the entire world fleet will continue to deliver further CO2 reductions, regardless of a ship's flag, while respecting the United Nations Framework – Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) principle of "Common But Differentiated Responsibility."
ICS stresses that the 10% CO2 reduction achieved since 2007 is across the shipping sector globally, not just ships registered in richer countries which are the only nations required to make commitments for land-based CO2 reductions under the current Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
"The entire world fleet is about 20% more efficient than in 2005. With the support of the shipping industry, IMO has already achieved a great deal and is the only forum that can deliver further significant CO2 reductions from international shipping," said Peter Hinchliffe.
A new ICS fact sheet "Delivering CO2 Emission Reductions: Shipping is Part of the Solution" can be downloaded HERE