IEA: Shipping "Not on Track" for 2025 Emission Reduction Targets

Wednesday May 24, 2017

The International Energy Agency (IEA), in a new report "Tracking Clean Energy Progress: 2017," says international shipping is "not on track" to meet an interim 2°C scenario (2DS) target for emission reductions by 2025.

IEA says that despite the International Maritime Organization's (IMO's) progress in agreeing on regulations to reduce ships' sulfur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) policy is still under consideration, with an initial GHG strategy slated for 2018 and the final strategy expected by 2023.

"Implementing IMO's final GHG strategy only by 2023 will have very little impact on the possibility of meeting 2025 2DS targets," stated IEA.

IEA suggests that the shipping industry strengthen enforcement mechanisms for emissions from ships and the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), including inspections, sanctions, and legal frameworks, to ensure compliance with IMO measures.

"Defining a GHG emissions mitigation target for international shipping is a first step to getting on track with 2DS targets. Raising the ambition of the EEDI, introducing mandatory standards on operational efficiency (also requiring proper monitoring of ship performances) and pricing GHG emissions are effective instruments to move in this direction," said IEA.

"Proactive action in the IMO is paramount to successfully reduce GHG emissions from international shipping."

The organisation also suggests that carbon taxes on shipping fuels should be implemented based on their life cycle GHG emissions, and that the shipping industry should work to "stimulate the engagement of ports in encouraging GHG reductions in ships, e.g. with bonus/malus schemes supporting clean ships from fees applied to ships with poorer environmental performances."

"Long-term investment decisions will have to be taken by ship owners, operators, financiers and refiners to reduce local pollutant emissions," warned IEA.

The organisation says its 2DS scenario "lays out an energy system deployment pathway and an emissions trajectory consistent with at least a 50% chance of limiting the average global temperature increase to 2°C."

Earlier this month, the World Shipping Council (WSC) announced that, along with BIMCO and the International Parcel Tankers Association (IPTA), it has filed a proposal for IMO to consider the development of a comprehensive GHG Strategy for shipping.