Environmentalists: IMO Must Establish GHG Emissions Cap by 2016

A number of environmental non-governmental organizations have expressed their concern over the failure of the international community to control greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, saying that the International Maritime Organisation must set out global emissions reduction target by 2016.

In a letter sent to the EU Climate Ministers, twelve environmentalist groups led by Clean Shipping Coalition, claim that IMO missed a historic chance to properly address emissions from international shipping during its 68th session of Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) held in mid-May.

At that session, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) introduced a proposal and a call for the adoption of a reduction target for GHG emissions from international shipping.

This proposal represented a loud wake-up call to the international community but it only took the IMO 90 minutes to reject the matter, despite evidence that failure to cap a fast growing source of emissions such as international shipping will endanger the 2 degree target, the letter states.

”Parties are submitting emission reduction pledges (INDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) intended to keep global warming below 2 degrees,” the letter says.

”It is essential that Europe move to stress that the international sectors must also play their part and that, if the IMO will not act, then the UNFCCC will.”


Apart from setting out the emissions reduction target by 2016, the letter urges the EU parties to pursue a number of further actions at UNFCCC and IMO level, including preserving and strengthening the EU language on international aviation and shipping emissions in the UNFCCC negotiation text for incorporation in the Paris Agreement at the end of this year; submitting proposals for a global ship emissions cap for consideration at MEPC 69; supporting Pacific Island States to continue their initiative to cap shipping emissions and; supporting additional finance through measures for shipping emissions reductions for mitigation and adaptation actions in the poorest and most vulnerable countries.


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