Tag: emissions

IMO: Shipping sector gets on board to tackle climate change but faster near-term action needed to meet Paris climate goals

 

13 April: The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has agreed on an initial strategy to decarbonise international shipping and reduce emissions from ships by at least 50% by 2050. While this agreement falls short of the 70 to 100% reductions by 2050 that the Pacific Islands, the EU and others were calling for ahead of the meeting, it keeps a window open to meet the Paris climate goals and is undeniably a game changer for the shipping sector.

This plan serves as a welcome first step to phase out emissions from the sector, but the IMO must now build on the agreed minimum target of 50% reductions in subsequent reviews of the strategy to comply with its fair share of emissions under the Paris Agreement. It must commit to the rapid and strong implementation of near-term measures, which will be discussed later this year, to stay on track with the Paris climate goals to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Shipping accounts for 2% of global emissions and it is time the IMO got on board with the rest of the world to seriously tackle climate change.  

Members and partners of the Climate Action Network reacted to the outcome:

John Maggs, senior policy advisor, Seas At Risk and president of the Clean Shipping Coalition, said: “We have an important agreement and this level of ambition will ultimately require a sector-wide shift to new fuels and propulsion technologies, but what happens next is crucial. The IMO must move swiftly to introduce measures that will cut in-sector emissions deeply and quickly in the short-term. Without these the goals of the Paris agreement will remain out of reach.”

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, global climate and energy programme leader, WWF, said: “This is very welcome news, a good first step and an important policy signal. Shipping is responsible for more than 2 percent of global emissions, and this is growing. The agreement today is an opportunity to bend this curve to align with the Paris Agreement. This needs to translate into urgent action - now.”

Mark Lutes, senior global climate policy advisor, WWF, said: “The decision sends a strong signal to the shipping industry and fuel suppliers, that they need to scale up investments in new technologies and their rapid deployment, including alternative fuels and propulsion systems.”

Catherine Abreu, executive director, Climate Action Network Canada, said: "This IMO initial strategy represents a small step from the shipping industry to contribute to the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement, to limit the increase of emissions to 1.5Co. A 1.5Co scenario of international shipping emissions requires decarbonization of the sector between 2035 and 2050 and the reduction of shipping emissions of 70%, aiming to 100% by 2050. Canada, who has the world’s longest coastline, should use its position as G7 President and ensure that it calls the IMO to further pursue ambitious and transparent actions to address shipping emissions in a way that it aligns with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Kelsey Perlman, international transport policy officer, Carbon Market Watch, said:  "It’s encouraging to have an emissions reduction plan for shipping, which for 30 years has avoided serious climate action, although ambition will ultimately be determined by how fast the sector adopts measures. An effective carbon price coupled with technology and operational improvements will be key to unlocking the huge potential for pollution-free shipping."

Kelsey Perlman on behalf of the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) said: “Today’s outcome puts international shipping ahead of aviation, short of the type of ambition required by the Paris Agreement, but with a clear, long-term commitment to decarbonize in-sector and peak emissions as soon as possible. This decision should light a fire under ICAO, which has been dragging its feet for over a decade on a vision for long-term decarbonization, arriving only at the mid-term emissions target of carbon neutral growth from 2020 levels. The agreement on shipping emissions today should make people question whether aviation’s emissions should be allowed to grow with no concrete plan to decarbonize.”

Bill Hemmings, shipping director, Transport & Environment, said: “The IMO should and could have gone a lot further but for the dogmatic opposition of some countries led by Brazil, Panama, Saudi Arabia. Scant attention was paid to US opposition. So this decision puts shipping on a promising track. It has now officially bought into the concept of decarbonisation and the need to deliver in-sector emission reductions, which is central to fulfilling the Paris agreement.”

Veronica Frank, international political advisor, Greenpeace, said: “The plan is far from perfect, but the direction is now clear - a phase out of carbon emissions. This decarbonisation must start now and targets improved along the way, because without concrete, urgent measures to cut emissions from shipping now the Paris ambition to limit warming to 1.5 degrees will become swiftly out of reach.
“Although the deal lists possible mitigation measures, the lack of an action plan for their development and the  tone of discussions at the IMO does not give much confidence that measures will be adopted soon. Greenpeace urges the industry to transform these goals into concrete, urgent steps to decarbonise in full as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest. The IMO plan is a first step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done to achieve climate stability. The initial deal will be revised in 2023 and reviewed again in 2028, giving opportunities to strengthen the targets.”

Manfred Treber, senior adviser climate/transport, Germanwatch said: "The Kyoto Protocol adopted in 1997 had stated that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) should pursue the limitation or reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol from international aviation, the IMO should do this for emissions from marine bunker fuels.
It took 19 years until ICAO agreed on CORSIA as a first global instrument to begin to fulfil this task. Now after 21 years - meanwhile the Paris Agreement had been adopted and has entered into force - we welcome that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is joining the world to combat climate change. We all know that their step is by far not sufficient to bring us close to the goals of the Paris Agreement with net zero emissions in the second part of this century."

Aoife O’Leary, legal analyst, Environmental Defense Fund Europe said: The shipping sector’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target represents an important step forward. The IMO has been talking about climate change for twenty years but the strategy agreed this week marks the beginning of a focused debate about the policies and measures that will help it to modernise and regain the status of a clean and efficient mode of transport. The target falls short on ambition but should be sufficient to drive policy development and consequently investment in clean fuels and technology.  EDF remains committed to working with stakeholders including those in the industry to find the ways that will work in order to peak shipping emissions as soon as possible.”

Jennifer Tollmann, climate diplomacy researcher, E3G, said: One of the key messages of the Paris agreement was that everybody needed to do more. With today’s agreement, one of the most serious climate laggards has acknowledged its responsibility. The IMO has taken an important first step in accepting the role it has to play in contributing to shifting us towards a carbon free future and to finally starting to bring the shipping sector in line with fulfilling the promise of the Paris Agreement. Now it's up to the IMO to build on this to start delivering the ambition and climate action the world is coming to expect.”

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About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org
 
For more information, contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Coordinator, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830

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International Transport and the Paris Agreement

November 2017

Moderated by Kelsey Perlman, Carbon Market Watch

  • Introduction to CAN International Recommendations
  • Percentage of the carbon budget: Growth of shipping and aviation - Andrew Murphy, Transport and Environment. 3:58 mins
  • Introduction of international transport emissions: Ties to the UNFCCC and diffculties of regulation of ICAO / IMO - Beatriz Martinez Romera - University of Copenhagen. 16:32 mins, and at 38:25 mins
  • The Facilitative Dialogue and Global Stocktake: The importance of IMO and ICAO as non-state actors - Mark Lutes, WWF. 22:20 mins
  • The Transparency Framework: Reporting of bunker fuels and future outlooks - Stelios Pesmajoglou, GHG Management Institute. 44:41mins
  • Carbon markets and double counting: Rules needed for trading outside of NDC's - Aki Kachi, Carbon Market Watch 1:11:08 mins
  • Question and answer session. 1:24:31 mins

International Transport and the Paris Agreement Webinar video

CAN Annual Policy Document: Pacific COP - Solidarity and Action to Realize the Promise of Paris

 

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Dear Canada

Do you remember last year? We do. ECO desperately hoped the hallway rumours of a Kyoto withdrawal weren’t true, but the second your Minister left the fine city of Durban, he confirmed your reckless abandonment of the only legally binding climate treaty we have. Little birds from around the world are telling ECO that this promise-breaking probably has something to do with those vast pits of tar sands you are so hooked on, the same ones that are undermining all of your domestic climate goals.

ECO knows you are still technically allowed in the Kyoto room, but please don’t touch that microphone. When you jumped ship on the first KP term as it hit the home stretch, you drowned what little credibility you had left. As a matter of principle you should sit silently in the back like the bad kid in the class who has been told to be quiet until they learn how to behave. There are well-intentioned Parties in the room that are trying to move forward to solve the climate crisis, so please just back off.
 
You don’t want Kyoto and we suspect, as a result, it doesn’t want you. 
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Related Newsletter : 

Will Doha Burst the Hot Air bubble?

A staggering 13 billion emissions permits are left over from the first Kyoto commitment period. Hot air is looming large – and threatens the viability of CP2 and any future climate deal.

ECO would like to remind delegates that the problem is the result of extremely weak CP1 emissions targets well above what countries were projected to emit. Poland, for example committed to a 6% reduction from their 1988 emission levels, despite the fact that in 1997, when the Kyoto targets were set, Poland’s emissions were already about 20% below 1988 levels. ECO warns the distinguished delegates not to fall for the bogus claim that the existence of hot air is the result of dedicated action. It’s not – and the economic downfall of the nineties cannot lead to inherited rights in the climate change process.
 
But memories are short. ECO can’t help but notice that Parties are about to make the same mistake again: Low pledges for CP2 mean that another surplus of 3 to 10 billion tonnes will accumulate by 2020. Add to that the 13 Gt surplus from the first phase and you have rendered any Kyoto targets quite meaningless. Yet Russia, Ukraine and Poland, the largest surplus holders, insist on keeping the right to sell their hot air. ECO has looked into it and found this is a vain hope. Pledges for CP2 are so weak that no one will buy their surplus! Prices for AAUs have dropped from 13 EUR in 2008 to less than 0.5 EUR in 2012.
 
The problem is so big that even if developed countries were to increase their CP2 pledges, they could meet their more stringent targets by simply buying more surplus and without actually cutting their emissions.
 
For those delegates that are interested in returning a little bit of environmental integrity to the system, ECO would like to emphasise that they’ll need to burst the hot air bubble. Raising ambition and closing loopholes go hand in hand. ECO therefore suggests to start looking seriously at the proposal by the G77 and China. It effectively minimises the use of CP1 hot air in CP2, does not allow for trading, and, most importantly, cancels the surplus permanently by the end of the second commitment period.
 
Is it worth it? Look, we are now on a pollution path that could lead to warming of 4oC or more. In addition, impacts associated with even 2oC of warming have been revised upwards and are now considered “dangerous” and “extremely dangerous”. A world beyond 2oC will threaten the very existence of civilisation as we know it. Heard of it? Worried? Then go burst the hot air bubble.
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Bangkok Fossil of the Day

 

"Saturday's 1st Place and only Fossil was awarded to the European Commission for attempting to show leadership in the wrong direction, away from the Durban decision to increase ambition - a decision which the EU actually claims to be champions of.

Keeping in mind that EU, if they implement the plans they already have on the table, will end up reducing around 24% of their 1990 emissions by 2020, it seems absurd that the European Commission suddenly argues that even an EU target of 25% is 'wishful thinking' and 'not reality'. Dear EU, 25% IS reality. Our wishful thinking is that you would get yourself together and increase you target to 40%, of which 30% should be domestic reductions."

And ECO wonders if the mere rumour that the EC had been awarded a fossil was behind the EU showing slightly better behaviour in the developed countries workshop. So maybe the fossil itself will have an even bigger impact - or is that more wishful thinking?

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CAN Collectibles: New Zealand!

Read the Series Again to Spot the Secret Message!

Fast Facts About Countries That Can Increase Their Ambition in Qatar

Also Makes a Great Paper Hat!

 

National term of endearment/greeting:

Bro/Mate

Annual alcohol consumption:

9.6 litres per person per year

Annual cheese consumption:

5.7 kilograms per person per year

Best things about New Zealand:

Beautiful environment - some of it still unspoiled. Maori Culture. Wine

Worst things about New Zealand:

Wanting to be Australia. Addiction to cars. Pathological need to spoil the unspoiled bits

Things you didn't know:

New Zealand isn't all clean and green. New Zealand is the first country in the world to catalogue its entire known living and fossil history from 530 million years ago to today

Existing unconditional pledge on the table:

It's all conditional, which means the unconditional pledge is to do nothing

Existing conditional pledge (upper end):

10-20% reduction in net emissions below 1990 gross emissions levels by 2020

Next step to increase ambition by COP18:

This year: Submit a meaningful QELRO that would require a 40% reduction by 2020; produce a low carbon development plan; tell us when gross emissions will peak; listen to the voices of progressive business leaders and agricultural scientists who can help us get there, rather than the usual head-in-the-sand lobby groups; and get a new attitude.

 

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Basic Climate Equity

If Durban is to be at least somewhat successful then Saturday’s release of the BASIC Experts paper on fair-shares global effort sharing will be recognized as a key breakthrough. That can help decide a 2nd commitment period for the KP while putting on the agenda serious consideration of a next generation mandate that’s fair enough to support real ambition.

The BASIC Experts paper does not pretend that the global carbon budget hasn’t already been essentially exhausted. Nor does it say that development-as-usual is still a viable option and we can muddle along with bottom-up accounting and a bit of technological optimism. These are things that just can’t happen if we actually intend to stabilize the climate system. But in addition,
developmental justice is a precondition of high ambition, and this report does foresee that soon we’ll be ready to face this bottom-line reality.

The BASIC authors can be commended for illuminating the salient core of the climate-equity debate. That outcome has clearly involved compromise, and it has clearly had a cost. For example, the paper focuses on a 2000-2050 global emissions budget of 1440 Gt CO2, one that many among us view as dangerously high.

All the same, the benefits of compromise are also visible. The authors were able to mark out a first-order consensus that, while vague, indicates a way forward. If ‘equity’ is defined as the human right to sustainable development, then only two approaches to a global fair-shares reference framework – cumulative per-capita budget sharing and “responsibility and capacity index” based effort sharing – are at all promising, and the BASIC paper clearly moves these two approaches forward.

There certainly are problems as well. The report, for example, gives almost no attention to economic stratification within countries. Even South Africa, while speaking for an approach that includes economic capacity as well as historic responsibility, passes too lightly over that subject. But all told it’s the accomplishment here that are highly notable. The BASIC Experts report is a signpost to the debate that’s actually needed.

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Related Newsletter : 

28 Mouths – 1 Voice

ECO truly appreciates that the European Union still supports the Kyoto Protocol (KP), and is heartened by the commitment of the EU to continue (what some might call) ranting about the importance of a legally binding regime. This week, ECO has been particularly pleased to see that the EU started to show some more readiness to accept a second commitment period of the KP. And ECO understands, from the EU’s stated preference for a comprehensive legally binding outcome of the future framework, that the commitments under the Protocol are going to be kept legally binding.

Of particular concern to ECO is that some representatives from particular European countries favor other positions. Understandably it can be hard to make 28 mouths express the same, clear and coherent position but this is, indeed, urgently needed.

ECO believes that the EU should fight harder to ensure that, in Durban, the KP will move into a legally binding second commitment period with broad participation and binding rules. How would anyone understand that the EU believes it would be easier to build a legally binding regime after abandoning the only legal building block we have?

It is in the EU’s, and the planet’s, own interest to ensure that its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol goes beyond a political declaration. Moreover, if the EU is really keen to get all countries to negotiate a legally binding outcome in the LCA, promoting a political commitment to the KP does not seem the best strategy. Increasing ambition means going up, not down.  

Next Monday, when the EU member states' environment ministers meet in Luxembourg, the EU has the chance to unambiguously put its position on paper and ECO believes the time has come to do so and take on a clear leading role. To accept and adopt a second commitment period of the KP does not require anything more than what the EU is already doing, so ECO would find it difficult to understand that the EU denied this breath of fresh air to the current climate talks.

ECO believes the EU could gain a lot if it could leave Durban as the Party that (once again) shaped the outcome of the COP and helped to save the only existing pathway to a global legally binding agreement.

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Balboa

Balboa is disappointed -- but not surprised -- with the news coming out of Washington these days.  It seems that the State Department has been receiving some ‘significant counsel’ from well-connected corporate lobbyists while conducting a review for the Keystone XL pipeline. Keystone XL is a 1,700-mile fuse to the largest Carbon bomb on the planet, the Alberta tar sands. Exploiting the tar sands is a dangerous step in the wrong direction. Saying NO to Keystone XL would be a positive step for the US to demonstrate seriousness in face of the climate crisis.  Balboa looks forward to seeing President Obama pumping his fists at the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s steps later this year after he denies the Keystone permit.  (If readers are lost on the reference, be sure to watch any Rocky Balboa -- no relation -- movie on the flight home :)

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