IMO meeting ends without deal on fair share contribution

Members of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on Thursday failed to reach a deal on fair share contribution to the goal of keeping the increase in temperature below 1.5/2°C. Consequently, the shipping sector “was left in disarray”, says NGO Transport & Environment.

During the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 69) meeting held in London, the attendees were unable to agree on a work plan for reducing ship emissions and the issue was put off until the next meeting of the IMO’s environment committee in October.

As disclosed, the disagreement came as the so-called BRICS countries opposed the call from Pacific island nations, developed countries and much of the industry to develop a post-Paris work plan on what emissions would be needed.

Transport & Environment says that Ki Tack Lim, the IMO’s Secretary-General, intervened, appealing to governments “not to kill the post-Paris discussion”, while France warned that a failure to advance the plan would mean the UN shipping body would be “held up to ridicule on the very day the Paris agreement was being signed in New York.”

Rejecting the call for action from its island neighbours, the Cook Islands aligned with China against developing a plan, the NGO said.

“How extraordinary it is that the IMO can’t agree that the Paris climate deal will require the shipping industry to even assess what it needs to do in response. Key developing countries seem to be in denial,” Bill Hemmings, shipping director at sustainable transport group Transport & Environment comments.

“Despite a large majority of member states and industry supporting action, the IMO proved unable to translate this into progress, instead allowing itself to be held hostage by a handful of BRICS and the maverick and increasingly isolated Cook Islands,” John Maggs, senior policy advisor at environmental NGO Seas At Risk remarks.

According to Transport & Environment, international shipping and aviation are responsible for 8% of the climate problem and an effective deal to keep the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees is not possible without their inclusion.

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