Maritime Sector Split on Paris Climate Deal

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 15, 2015

Photo: cop21.org

Photo: cop21.org

 International shipping groups remain divided over how to reduce carbon emissions after being left out of the climate-change pact reached over the weekend in Paris, reports WSJ.

 
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing the global shipping industry, has welcomed the Paris climate change agreement, which was adopted unanimously on December 12 by 195 nations.
 
ICS says that the global shipping industry remains committed to ambitious CO2 emission reduction across the entire world merchant fleet, reducing CO2 per tonne-km by at least 50 percent before 2050 compared to 2007.
 
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has welcomed the historic achievement of the 2015 Paris Climate Change conference (COP21).
 
IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said, “The Paris Agreement represents remarkable progress and builds on the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, which itself was a significant step forward. The absence of any specific mention of shipping in the final text will in no way diminish the strong commitment of IMO as the regulator of the shipping industry to continue work to address GHG emissions from ships engaged in international trade.”
 
But several key industry players, including Maersk Line, the world’s largest ocean container carrier, expressed disappointment at the exclusion of shipping from the agreement after it was deleted from a draft accord.
 
John Kornerup Bang, the chief climate advisor at Maersk, explained that the company had hoped that the agreement would also include global requirements of the shipping industry, but that this was omitted from the final agreement.
 
“We are disappointed that it didn’t end up in the final agreement,” he said.
 
Maersk argues that international regulation is inevitable and that a lack thereof simply encourages shipping lines to sail under the flags of countries with the least stringent rules.
 
Headed by the Maersk Group, European shipowners will meet on one of the first days of 2016 to outline a Plan B after the failure to include shipping in COP21. 
 
“The political will failed,” JOC quotes the Danish Shipowners Association (DSA) as saying. DSA represents almost one tenth of the world fleet. “It’s grotesque to have an industry directly asking to be included in a climate agreement but which is not allowed to,” said Marie Bruun Skipper, vice president of the association.
 
The association fears that a lack of agreement in the IMO on reducing CO2 emissions on a flag-neutral basis will prompt the EU to draw up its own legislation.
 
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