Article / 06 Apr, 2018
World Nations Meet for Critical Decision on Shipping Emissions

UN Climate Change News, 6 April 2018 – Countries need to chart an ambitious course limiting greenhouse gas emissions from shipping when they gather next week for a crucial meeting under the International Maritime Organization (IMO), says the UN’s top climate change official.

Some 173 nations are expected to adopt an initial strategy to limit emissions when they meet at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 72nd session. It is critical that the strategy is sufficiently ambitious to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

“We are witnessing how climate change is moving much faster than emissions reductions,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa in advance of the meeting. “I call upon all nations to adopt an ambitious initial strategy at the IMO that can critically contribute towards achieving the Paris Agreement goals, and at the same time be supportive of the sector’s sustainability.”

Maritime transport is responsible for around 2.5% of global emissions, and its emissions are projected to grow between 50 and 250 percent by 2050.

World nations meeting under the IMO have unanimously recognized the maritime sector’s role in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, to limit the rise in global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial level.

Although international shipping and aviation are not directly included in the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has adopted an aircraft CO2 emissions standard which will reduce the impact of aviation greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate. The shipping industry will have to cap as well its emissions soon for the world to meet the goals laid down in the agreement.

The initial strategy is expected to set the vision for international shipping and its level of ambition to reduce emissions. The MEPC will address the guiding principles of the strategy, including short-, mid- and long-term further measures with possible timelines and their impacts on States, as well as identify barriers and supportive measures, including capacity-building, technical cooperation, and research and development.

For more information about the MEPC meeting, click here.