The global shipping industry, represented at the United Nations Conference in Paris by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), fully supports a global deal on climate change.
The shipping industry is committed to ambitious CO2 emissions reduction across the entire world merchant fleet. This will best be guaranteed if further regulation continues to be led by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Shipping is the lifeblood of the global economy without which intercontinental trade, the bulk transport of raw materials and the import/export of food and manufactured goods would not be possible. About 90% of world trade is carried by sea and shipping is already by far the most energy efficient mode of commercial transport. Shipping is therefore part of the solution to preventing climate change.
Proportionate to its 2.2% share of the world’s total CO2 emissions, international shipping accepts its responsibility to contribute to the CO2 reduction measures being taken by the global community.
IMO data shows that shipping has already reduced total CO2 emissions by more than 10% since 2007. The share of the world economy’s CO2 emissions from international shipping was just 2.2% in 2012 compared to 2.8% in 2007, while CO2 per tonne of cargo transported one kilometre by sea has fallen around 20% in the past ten years as a result of aggressive fuel efficiency measures.
Speaking at a special shipping event at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, highlighted the additional CO2 reductions that will be achieved in the immediate future: “Mandatory regulations already adopted by IMO will ensure that all ships built after 2025 will be at least 30% more efficient than ships operating today. Combined with further technical and operational measures plus new technology, international shipping should be able to reduce its CO2 per tonne-kilometre by 50% before 2050.”
Mr Hinchliffe added: “These dramatic further CO2 reductions will be genuine and real. We will have bigger ships, better engines, cleaner fuels and smarter speed management. The mandatory worldwide use by ships of low sulphur fuel to reduce air pollution will provide a further significant incentive to improve fuel efficiency.”
With full industry support, IMO is now developing additional global measures. The next step will be the collection of CO2 emissions data from individual ships, which the industry would like to see mandatory as soon as possible.
Mr Hinchliffe said: “Despite further growth in maritime trade on which the prosperity of the world depends, the significant CO2 reductions achieved in recent years suggests that shipping is well on course for carbon neutral growth.”
Recent data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) makes clear that developing and developed nations are equal beneficiaries of maritime trade, which is critical to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. ICS asserts that IMO is the only regulatory body that can ensure that future CO2 measures are implemented on a uniform and worldwide basis that will support sustainable trade and the interests of developing economies.