Baltic and European news
Global shipping body to adopt climate strategy
The International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) environment policy decision-making body, the MEPC, is set to adopt a package of technical and operational measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping in London next week.
This will form the shipping sector's input to ongoing international climate talks. A lot hangs on the ambition of the measures adopted next week. "If they cannot make real commitments to cut emissions, and back this up with action, then it is time for the UNFCCC to step in," said Bill Hemmings of green transport group T&E.
Australia recently called for the UN to set emission reduction goals for the sector (EE 12/06/09 http://www.endseurope.com/21547) and the EU has said it may include shipping in its emission trading scheme (ETS) if the IMO is not ambitious enough (EE 18/12/08 http://www.endseurope.com/20247).
So far the proposed package includes an energy efficiency design index for new ships and an energy management plan for new and existing ships. The MEPC will also debate two market-based instruments to cut the sector's emissions: a maritime emission trading scheme and a global levy on marine bunker fuels.
Agreeing such market-based measures will prove difficult however because the IMO's global mandate conflicts with the UN climate talks' principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" that countries such as China and India want to apply to the shipping sector (EE 01/07/08 http://www.endseurope.com/15224).
The MEPC's climate discussions will be guided by a report released earlier this year that estimated international shipping emissions could grow by 250% by 2050 in the absence of reduction policies (EE 18/05/09 http://www.endseurope.com/21368).
Other topics to be discussed next week include the implementation of ship pollution laws, a new convention for ship recycling (EE 18/05/09 http://www.endseurope.com/21367), ballast water management, the impact of ship noise on marine life, and guidance on removing anti-fouling paints from ships.
Follow-up: IMO briefing
plus press release from WWF-UK and T&E
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