The global shipping industry, which transports around 90% of world trade, only produced about 2.2% of the world's total Green House Gas emissions during 2012 compared to 2.8% in 2007. Shipping's total emissions have reduced by more than 10% during the same period.
In advance of the United Nations Climate Conference in Lima (1-12 December), the global trade association for ship operators - the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) - says that the industry is on track to reduce its emissions by more than 20% by 2020 (compared to 2005) with further reductions going forward.
This and other information about the impressive progress which the shipping industry is making to reduce its CO2 emissions is set out in a special brochure prepared for the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP 20). This can be found on the global trade association's website.
The shipping industry is the only industrial sector which is already covered by a binding global agreement to reduce its CO2 emissions, through technical and operational measures agreed - with full industry support - by its global regulator, the London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO).
ICS explains that the IMO is now developing additional measures to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping and that the UN Conference needs to maintain its support for IMO as the principal forum for addressing emissions from maritime transport, which cannot be attributed to individual national economies.
ICS emphasises that any decision, for example, on whether to develop a Market Based Measure for shipping that might be linked to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) should be a matter for IMO Member States. IMO will be best placed to develop an approach that can reconcile the UNFCCC principle of ‘Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR)' - whereby developing countries are treated differently - with the need for all ships, regardless of flag, to be treated in a uniform manner.
Shipping is a global industry requiring rules on CO2 to be applied on a global basis to all ships. Apart from preventing market distortion in this totally globalised sector, this is necessary to avoid ‘carbon leakage' since only about 35% of the world fleet is registered with those developed nations that are covered by emission reduction commitments under the existing Kyoto Protocol on climate change prevention.
The position of the shipping industry remains that any contribution by shipping to the GCF must reflect the sector's modest contribution to total global CO2 emissions. ICS is firmly opposed to any suggestion that the shipping industry should collectively pay tens of billions of dollars each year, stressing that the industry is not a ‘cash cow'.
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