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11.04.2018 13:17
U.N. shipping agency to tackle growing CO2 emissions
The United Nations’ shipping agency is under pressure this week to agree on a plan to cut carbon emissions from the sector, Reuters cited.
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There have been years of slow progress, but the strategy could fall well short of what is required to limit global warming. The shipping sector, along with aviation, avoided specific emissions cut targets in a global climate pact agreed at the end of 2015. The aim of that pact was to limit a global average rise in temperature to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius from 2020.
 
According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the U.N. agency responsible for regulating pollution from ships, shipping accounts for 2.2 percent of world CO2 emissions. This is nearly the amount emitted by Germany and is predicted to grow significantly if no measures are taken.
 
According to estimates by the European Commission, air and marine transportation could contribute as much as a third of all emissions by 2050.
 
The IMO is meeting in London this week to develop an initial strategic plan to cut emissions. A final plan is not expected until 2023. The strategy should include a global emissions reduction goal for the sector. The plan must be in line with temperature limits agreed under the global climate deal as well as a list of short-term, mid-term and long-term measures to ensure this goal is met.
 
A spokesman for the European Commission said EU countries, along with the Marshall Islands, support a goal of cutting emissions by 70 to 100 percent by 2050, compared with 2008 levels. Norway has proposed a 50 percent cut by 2050, while another proposal backed by Japan - which is also chairing this week’s talks - and other countries aims for a 50 percent cut by 2060.
 
However, some environmental groups and countries argue that these targets would not be ambitious enough to keep global temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees C.
 
Reuters reminded that countries such as Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Panama are also opposed to the EU’s proposal of a loftier target.
 
A report by the International Transport Forum published last week said the maritime sector could be fully de-carbonised by as early as 2035.
 
The 70-100 percent reduction proposal from some European countries is unlikely to achieve broad support, said the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents more than 80 percent of the world’s merchant fleet.
 
The IMO has adopted mandatory rules for new vessels to boost fuel efficiency as a means of cutting CO2 from ship engines.
 
There have been discussions for years on wider CO2 cuts but progress has been slow, prompting calls for potential unilateral measures to be taken at regional or national level. According to Bas Eickhout, a member of the European Parliament, if this week’s talks also fail to reach a decision, countries will have to take their own actions.
 

TAGS: CO2 | UN | reduction 


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