Shipping industry rails against inclusion in national climate change targets

Shipping accounts for 2.7% of all carbon dioxide emissions (Source: Wikimedia CommonsSteve Gibson)

By RTCC staff

Emission reductions from the shipping industry should not be part of national targets and should instead be managed through the UN, according to the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

A report from the ICS released yesterday, claims that the global nature of the industry means it is not appropriate to include the industry in national emission targets. It states that instead the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the UN’s agency for security, safety and environmental monitoring at sea.

“The Durban climate change conference needs to give the IMO a clear mandate to continue its vital work to help us deliver further emission reductions through the development of Market Based Measures,” said Peter Hinchliffe, secretary general of the ICS.

IMO-led initiatives have already reduced oil spills from the shipping industry and lowered sulphur emissions.

The complexity of international shipping is at the root of the call for the IMO to oversee carbon emission reductions.

“A ship may be registered in one country while the beneficial owner of the ship may be located in another. The cargo carried by the ship will be of economic benefit to a variety of different importing and exporting nations,” the ICS report said. “Moreover, the nationality of the entities exporting and importing the cargo carried will vary considerably from voyage to voyage.”

It also calls for any climate funding system to be based on fuel consumption levy rather than emissions trading.

“An IMO compensation fund linked to fuel consumption is the option which most shipping companies can probably accept and support, if agreed by governments,” said the report.

The EU has already indicated its preference to include aviation in trading schemes, the debate around shipping’s inclusion is likely to rumble on in Durban.


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