The maritime industry is fully committed to “green growth” as shown by the fact the IMO will begin discussing further reduction targets for CO2 emissions from shipping later this month, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) will tell the United Nations’ first ever Ocean Conference taking place in New York this week.
The conference is seeking voluntary “aspirational pledges” from countries and industries to observe UN Sustainable Goal 14 “to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources” as agreed in the December 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
President Trump ‘s decision last week to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement “will have no impact on the shipping industry’s strong commitment to reducing its CO2 emissions,” ICS Director of Policy Simon Bennett, who is representing the association at the New York conference, said.
He explains that reducing CO2 emissions is thought particularly vital to marine conservation since besides contributing to climate change CO2 is absorbed directly into the ocean, causing warming and acidification of the water.
Shipping has already reduced its total CO2 emissions by more than 13% between 2008 and 2012 despite increased maritime trade, Bennett pointed out, and furthermore is already committed to cutting emissions per tonne of cargo carried one kilometre by 50% by 2050, compared to 2008.
In addition, the shipping industry has proposed that the IMO should adopt “some ambitious aspirational objectives’ on CO2 reduction, the ICS will inform the conference – namely “keeping total shipping emissions below 2008 levels, and cutting annual total CO2 emissions from the sector by 2050, by a percentage to be agreed by IMO.”
The ICS has tabled this proposal for discussion at the next session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee, which meets in London at the end of June.