IMO Argues Against Hard Emissions Cap on Shipping in Paris Climate Deal

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday September 30, 2015

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is urging 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, the IMO announced this week. 

In a statement, Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said leaders may be "tempted" to consider measures such as a cap to limit the sector's contribution to global emissions. 

However, "such measures would artificially limit the ability of shipping to meet the demand created by the world economy, or would unbalance the level playing field that the shipping industry needs for efficient operation, and therefore must be avoided," he said. 

"In addition, fiscal measures such as a levy on fuel are under active consideration, but such measures require careful analysis and development, considering a host of environmental, technical, economic and geopolitical factors."

The IMO stressed that any conversations or decisions about global shipping's role in climate change should be conducted under the leadership of the organization, given that it also took on a similar role during Kyoto

In addition to touting its track record of reducing greenhouse gases in the sector through gradual phase-ins of legislation, the organization reminded the public that they were always intended to be the "United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for regulating the safety and environmental performance of international shipping."

"Historically, debate among Governments about shipping, be it technical, operational or fiscal, has taken place within IMO, where the nature of, and impact on, the shipping industry is best understood," said Sekimizu. 

Sekimizu also stressed that the IMO is, to date, the only international organization to have
adopted global legislation to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from a particular industry.

"Nothing similar exists for any other industry or business sector," he said.

Earlier this month, Ship & Bunker reported that a number of political groups have also urged leaders to impose a hard emissions target, arguing that it would be the best solution to combat climate change.