NGOs Say New EP Report Shows Need for Action on "Elephant in the Room" Issue of Global Shipping Emissions Cap

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday November 24, 2015

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Seas At Risk, Transport & Environment (T&E) and the Marine Conservation Society Monday said that a new report released by the European Parliament (EP) demonstrates the need for delegates attending COP 21 in Paris to agree that a global emissions cap for shipping needs to be set.

Calling emissions from shipping, along with aviation, the "elephant in the COP21 negotiations room," the EP report was said to predict that by 2050, 17 percent of global CO2 emissions could be attributable to shipping if left unregulated. 

Sotiris Raptis, shipping policy officer at T&E, says that scenario could interfere with reduction efforts by other sectors.

"Without inclusion of ship GHG emissions in the Paris agreement and significant additional action to reduce emissions, shipping will consume a growing proportion of the 2 degree carbon budget and ultimately make it all but impossible to meet climate stabilisation targets," the NGOs said.

John Maggs, Seas At Risk policy advisor and Clean Shipping Coalition's President, said, "Paris should be the moment when the world sets itself on a course that avoids dangerous climate change."

"To achieve this all will have to play their part; there is no room for shirking responsibility or special pleading, least of all from an industry like shipping that has so much untapped potential to reduce emissions and move to a low carbon business model.”

In September, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu urged world leaders to decide against the idea of an overall emissions cap for the shipping industry ahead of global climate deal talks to be held in Paris at the end of the year.

In October, the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) argued that a call by the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for the IMO to develop a global emissions reduction framework by the end of 2016 is "unrealistic."