Tag: shipping

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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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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Region: 

Rocking the Boat, Flying to the Moon Palace

Delegates arrive by plane and eat food that’s been shipped by boat – international transport has been part of the COP since the beginning.  And while there are 100% biodiesel buses bringing delegates from the Messe to the Moon Palace, we are a long way (whether by plane or boat) from having international transport running on clean fuel.  
Even if the weak voluntary measures proposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) are implemented, emissions from transport, if kept unregulated, would amount to 30% of the annual global emissions budget by 2050 to be compatible with a 2° C objective. In the 1.5° C scenario the figure is even worse, it’s above 60%!
But there is some good news too.  There are now ways for global regulation of emissions from international transport to cause no net incidence on developing countries. This guarantees consistency with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities without affecting economic efficiency – something that has been blocking a decision in this arena.
Even better, there are many options available to generate climate finance, some of which could yield upwards of $10 billion USD per year, while also generating funds for technology innovation in the international transport sectors.  That’s another point that has been blocking progress.  And better yet, you guessed it, some of these options can also achieve significant emissions reductions.
If given a clear signal at this COP, regulations under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) could be operationalized as early as 2013. Remember, the closure of the fast-start financing period will be upon us in two short years.  A decision here at Cancun would allow FSF, much of it actually non-additional, to be replaced with real, new and additional finance.  That would be something for delegates to be proud of as they taxi down the runway leaving the Cancun International Airport for well-deserved time off at the end of the year.   
As the High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF) points out, no single source is going to reach the promised $100 billion USD level by 2020.  ECO therefore reminds developed countries that substantial public financing from you will also be required.  And it is easy to see that financing from international transport should be part of any package.
Sending a clear signal to IMO and ICAO at COP 16 will not only help prevent a finance gap but also take a big step to ensure environmental consistency and climate stabilization.

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Related Newsletter : 

Agree on finance from bunkers

ECO never tires of pointing out the obvious to delegates, but we promise we do it for your own benefit. So here we go again. What if you could find a way to control the fastest growing sources of emissions and generate billions of dollars of climate finance at the same time. You’d do it, wouldn’t you? ECO respectfully suggests you do just that for international aviation and shipping emissions, right here in Copenhagen.

Parties agree the emissions cannot be attributed to specific countries. The emissions are international, so the mitigation framework must be global. That’s okay, Article 4.1c of the Convention allows for this, but Article 4.3 lays down some conditions. To ensure the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is respected, revenues created from bunker regulation — some estimates suggest US$25-37 billion per year — should be used to defray incremental costs and support climate action in developing countries.  Analysis shows that the impacts on trade would be minimal. Special exceptions can and should be made to exclude routes to and from the SIDS and LDCs, this is fully in the power of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) to do.

A key priority in the next seven days is ensuring that developing countries receive new, additional and stable finance to support their efforts. As many delegates have put it, no money, no deal! Bunkers can help bridge that gap by creating complementary money in addition to assessed contributions by Annex I countries. What a great double dividend: we achieve climate benefits while generating new climate money (through a levy or the auctioning of emission permits).

Now, consider the alternative. You keep on arguing in circles. Nothing gets decided. And bunker emissions keep on rising, making 2˚C impossible, let alone 1.5˚C. A recent study estimates that they would take up 92% of global emissions in 2050 if the rest of the world reduces emissions by the 80% we need. Further, unilateral approaches are springing up. The EU has already moved to bring aviation into its emissions trading system, and is likely to do the same for shipping in the absence of global action. In the US, bunker fuels are covered in the draft Congressional Bill. Such regional measures still cover developing country operators when they visit these major trading blocs but the money generated will not flow to developing countries. It goes to Annex I governments!

This is a huge missed opportunity. Don’t let it happen. Agree on something good: targets for  the sectors, timelines for ICAO and IMO to deliver at COP 16, and the principle of a co-operative approach that generates revenue for developing countries.

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