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Focus on plastic degradation in the ocean

DNV and WWF to develop a research concept vessel DNV and WWF have announced ideas on how to develop a research concept vessel that can address the seemingly intractable problems associated with cleaning up the plastic debris that is accumulating in the world's ocean gyres. The pathways and degradation processes of plastic in the ocean are still largely unknown, and to enable efficient clean-up these knowledge gaps need to be filled.Plastic is estimated to take 10-500 years to degrade in the ocean. By initiating an action plan and developing a design concept for a specialised research vessel, DNV hopes to demonstrate a practical way forward to reduce the problem and to build global support for action.By 2020, there will be an estimated 230 million tonnes of plastic in the ocean, most of it from land sources or as a result of marine activities. It has been shown to accumulate in the relatively still waters inside the five large ocean gyres.While this accumulation may seem to facilitate its collection and removal, the massive scale of the problem and many unknown variables make this an extremely challenging prospect. For example, to skim the surface layer of the five large gyres would take ...

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COP 17 Climate Change Conference

Oxfam and WWF join with shipowners to urge agreement for GHG from ships At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa (COP 17, Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, 2011), the global shipping industry, Oxfam and WWF have joined forces to suggest to governments how the further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping might best be regulated.Oxfam, WWF and the International Chamber of Shipping (which represents over 80% of the world merchant fleet) call on delegates to COP 17 to give the International Maritime Organization (IMO) clear guidance on continuing its work on reducing shipping emissions through the development of Market Based Measures (MBMs).The organisations maintain that an effective regulatory framework for curbing emission of CO2 from international shipping must be global in nature and designed so as to reduce the possibility of 'carbon leakage', while taking full account of the best interests of developing countries and the UNFCCC principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities' (CBDR).This includes the possibility of the adoption by IMO of a compensation mechanism through which a significant share of any revenues collected from international shipping could be directed to developing countries and provide a new source of finance ...

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Shipowners join WWF, Oxfam in urging climate levy

Chamber prefers compensation fund over emissions trading scheme The International Chamber of Shipping on Tuesday joined campaign groups Oxfam and WWF to urge climate talks in Durban to help put a price on polluting emissions from ships, which could help raise funding to tackle global warming.Oxfam and WWF have been pressing for a maritime carbon levy and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents more than 80 percent of the world's merchant fleet, gave its qualified support."If governments decide that shipping should contribute to the UNFCCC Green Climate Fund, the industry can probably support this in principle," ICS Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe said in a statement released to coincide with the Durban talks, which opened on Monday.Previous talks under the aegis of the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change, the parent treaty of the Kyoto Protocol on combating global warming, have agreed on a Green Climate Fund.The Durban meeting is expected to work on the design of the fund, which would channel money to help developing nations tackle climate change.Hinchliffe's conditions to the proposed shipping levy included that details would have to be agreed at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).He also said the industry's preference was for a ...

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Campaigners push for vast Antarctic marine reserve

WWF, Greenpeace and the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition join forces Conservationists called Tuesday for the world's biggest marine protection zone to be declared around Antarctica, heralding the possibility of a global fight over its pristine waters.As fishing stocks around the world become increasingly depleted, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance is urging the international convention tasked with managing the southern seas to establish a vast no-take network."The problem at the moment is that as fisheries resources around the world come under more and more pressure, there are going to be more distant water-fishing nations who want to go to the oceans around Antarctica to extract protein," the alliance's Steve Campbell told AFP on Tuesday."And they are going to do it either legally or illegally."While the land continent has been under protection since 1991, Campbell said there is no such rule in place for the pristine waters around it, which are teeming with marine life -- much of which is seen nowhere else on the planet.The 25-nation Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources is set to decide on a network of marine reserves by 2012.Campbell said the alliance was calling for the creation of a reserve network "on a ...

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Oxfam and WWF propose $25 per tonne bunker ”carbon price”

NGOs say scheme would help cut emissions while generating $25 billion per year by 2020 Oxfam and WWF are lobbying politicians that a proposed deal to apply a "carbon price" to international shipping should be at the heart of the agreement at the UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, later this year. Publication of a report by the two NGOs is timed to put pressure on EU Environment Ministers at their meeting October. Oxfam and WWF say that EU support for the will be critical to breaking the international deadlock on shipping emissions that has lasted more than a decade.A new joint report claims that applying a carbon price of $25 per tonne to bunkers would help cut emissions while generating $25bn per year by 2020. According to the NGOs the cash generated would be used both to compensate developing countries for marginally higher import costs that could result from the carbon price, and to provide more than $10bn per year to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF was established at last year's UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, to channel funds for tackling climate change to developing countries but is currently empty.The two organisation say that ...

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Carbon price for shipping could sail ahead, say Oxfam and WWF

Applying a carbon price of $25 per tonne to shipping or 'bunker' fuel Escalating greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping could be tackled by applying a carbon price of $25 per tonne to shipping or 'bunker' fuel, according to a new report from Oxfam and WWF.The report shows that the EU could broker a deal on a carbon price for shipping fuel at the United Nations' climate change conference in Durban, South Africa later this year.As well as controlling emissions from shipping, the proposal would also raise around $25 billion a year by 2020 to help tackle climate change in developing nations, say the charities. The revenues raised could also be used to compensate developing countries for higher import costs arising from the carbon price.The report, Out of the Bunker - Time for a fair deal on shipping emissions, says the proposal would tackle two of the major issues facing the Durban conference - agreement on future emissions cuts and finance to help developing nations.International shipping is currently responsible for around 3% of total global emissions - more than Germany and twice that of Australia - but has remained resistant to regulation, although the industry did recently agree to some ...

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