Shipping targets dropped from latest COP21 draft

Shipping has been dropped from the latest draft of the UNFCCC COP21 climate agreement, which, if left unchanged, leaves the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to regulate the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Aviation had also been left out, leaving the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to regulate its industry, estimated to account for 5% of global warming while shipping accounts for 3%.

The development is positive for outgoing IMO secretary general Koji Sekimizu, who in October called on shipping to self-regulate effectively and “not to wait for the IMO for a level playing field.”

While the draft has yet to be finalised, with its final version expected tomorrow, the news has already angered various environmental groups who argue it would now be “close to impossible” to achieve UNFCCC targets of no more than a 2°C increase in global temperatures, and that the IMO and ICAO have “failed” to regulate their industries effectively in the 18 years since the agreement of the Kyoto Protocol.

Andrew Murphy, policy officer at Transport & Environment, said: “The dropping of international aviation and shipping emissions from the draft Paris climate agreement makes keeping a temperature increase under 2 degrees close to impossible. Those parties calling for an ambitious agreement must insist that language on international transport be reinserted.”

Seas At Risk senior policy advisor John Maggs commented that “History may now judge aviation and shipping as industries that, while the rest of the world moved forward at COP21, sat on the sidelines and refused to contribute.”

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