Paris Agreement, adopted during UNFCCC COP 21, aims to respond to climate change threat by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and then to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, it excluded international shipping and aviation from the targeted emissions cuts.

The Council said in its statement:

"(The Council) emphasizes the need for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to take swift and appropriate additional actions in order for international shipping to contribute its fair share to the fight against climate change and to agree in April 2018 on an initial greenhouse gas IMO emission reduction strategy. This should be underpinned by an adequate emission reduction objective, consistent with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement, including a list of candidate short, mid and long-term measures equally applicable to all ships, as agreed in the roadmap for developing a comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships."

The EU Council also welcomed the Tony de Brum Declaration issued at the occasion of the One Planet Summit in December 2017 and stressed the need for appropriate outreach activities in the run up to IMO MEPC 72 to further build the political momentum while striving for a successful outcome.

The “Tony de Brum” declaration, signed by 35 states, including UK, France, Denmark, Germany, Canada, the Marshall Islands, Chile and New Zealand, says shipping should adopt a cap on shipping CO2, with the  ambition of reaching zero emissions towards the mid-century.