COP21: No Reference to Shipping in Final Climate Deal, Green Groups Voice Disappointment

Monday December 14, 2015

The final draft text has been agreed for a global climate deal at COP21, and while the Paris pact has been widely acclaimed by the global leaders who participated, green groups have been quick to highlight the lack of reference to any shipping or aviation emissions.

The talks had hoped to reach a deal to keep average global temperatures rising more than 2°C before the end of the century, and while it was noted that the final deal endorses a target of 1.5°C, NGOs Seas At Risk, Carbon Market Watch, and Transport & Environment all said that goal can not be achieved unless shipping, along with aviation, "urgently rein in their emissions."

"The Agreement now leaves it unclear which actors have responsibility to reduce emissions from these sectors. If ICAO/IMO wish to retain a role, they must urgently scale up their ambition," said Andrew Murphy, Aviation and Shipping Officer, Transport & Environment.

"Otherwise states and regional actors will have a right to adopt measures to ensure these sectors contribute to the 1.5°C target."

Carbon War Room, in an emailed statement Sunday, also voiced its disappointment.

"Despite calls to regulate shipping from the European Parliament, Denmark and the Marshall Islands, as well as multiple industry leaders including Maersk, it is disappointing to learn that shipping has not been included in COP21's global climate change agreement," said Victoria Stulgis, Senior Associate, Carbon War Room.

"The industry must also recognise that the eyes of the world are now watching what shipping will do next. At the next MEPC session, only a few months away, shipping is likely to come under scrutiny yet again."

Last month, Seas At Risk, T&E, and the Marine Conservation Society all called emissions from shipping, along with aviation, the "elephant in the COP21 negotiations room."