‘The withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement should not jeopardise an ambitious global strategy to reduce the CO2 emissions of shipping - we are therefore pleased that the EU and China appear to be working towards reinforced co-operation on delivering a climate agreement for shipping at the International Maritime Organization,' said ECSA Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven.
According to a statement from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) indications of such cooperation materialised during the 19th EU-China Summit held in Brussels last week.
At the summit, EU and Chinese leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change, and later in the year, in September, EU and Chinese leaders will co-host, along with Canada, a major ministerial gathering to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate the clean energy transition.
Discussions on the IMO greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy will start in a few weeks' time, at the 71st session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).
The IMO is looking to establish an initial strategy in 2018, to be finalised in 2023, after real-time data on CO2 emissions of global shipping have been collected and analysed.
Ahead of the MEPC meeting, the global shipping industry, represented by four international shipowner organisations, submitted a proposal to keep total global CO2 emissions below 2008 levels, and then progressively cut annual total emissions from the sector by 2050, by a percentage to be agreed by IMO.
‘We call upon the EU and China, and indeed all IMO Member States, to support the industry proposals,’ said ICS Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe.
‘The priority of governments should be to focus on the development of alternative, fossil-free fuels and IMO should assess whether holding CO2 below 2008 levels can be achieved with technical and operational measures alone.’