Shipowners encourage EU-China leadership in shaping IMO CO2 strategy
Following the decision of the United States to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) encourage the intention of the European Union and the People's Republic of China to intensify cooperation in achieving a global climate deal for shipping. Indications of such cooperation materialised during the 19th EU-China Summit held in Brussels last week. At the Summit, EU and Chinese leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change. EU and Chinese leaders also looked forward to co-hosting, along with Canada, a major ministerial gathering in September to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate the clean energy transition.
Discussions on the IMO greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy will start in a few weeks' time, at the 71st session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). The IMO aims at establishing an initial strategy in 2018, which is to be finalised in 2023, after real-time data on CO2 emissions of global shipping have been collected and analysed. Ahead of the MEPC meeting, the global shipping industry, represented by four international shipowner organisations, submitted a proposal to keep total global CO2 emissions below 2008 levels, and then progressively cutting annual total emissions from the sector by 2050, by a percentage to be agreed by IMO.
ECSA and ICS continue to express concern about unilateral measures that the EU and other regional powers may be contemplating. The European Parliament is notably pushing for the unilateral inclusion of shipping in the European Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and the Chinese government is also considering a national ETS scheme which could eventually include shipping.
The industry submission to IMO concerning CO2 emissions reduction from international shipping has been made jointly by ICS, BIMCO, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO. It will be considered by IMO Member States at a meeting in London at the end of June, which will commence the development of an IMO strategy on CO2 reduction by shipping in order to match ambition of the Paris Agreement.
The Membership of ECSA and ICS comprises over 40 national shipowners’ associations representing all sector and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.