ICS: Shipping Wants Climate Commitments by 2018


Published Nov 10, 2016 9:16 PM by The Maritime Executive

At the COP22 conference in Morocco, the International Chamber of Shipping's director of policy said that industry wants to see climate change commitments made at IMO by 2018, with an enforcement mechanism to follow after.

"We are very optimistic that initial CO2 reduction objectives can now be developed by IMO for the sector by 2018," said Simon Bennett, ICS director of policy and external relations. “The final stage to be enacted by 2023 should establish a global mechanism for ensuring that these initial IMO commitments – which the industry wants to see agreed by 2018 – will actually be delivered.” 

Bennett said that although controversial, "the clear preference of the majority of the industry would be for a global levy based on fuel consumption" – more commonly known as a carbon tax. 

Bennett prefaced this suggestion by noting that it "remains very controversial and is not yet universally supported."

Climate advocates have voiced concern that the MEPC 70 "road map" towards a climate plan would not result in action until 2023 at the earliest. An already-finalized emissions offset scheme for international airlines – the other industry left out of the COP21/22 negotiations – goes into effect in 2021, although it will not become mandatory until 2027. 

Climate negotiations face uncertainty with new U.S. administration

Diplomats and negotiators at COP22 are still trying to predict the effects of a Trump administration on the future of the global agreement to combat climate change. 

Erik Filipsson, strategic policy advisor for offshore wind farm developer Vattenfall, reported expressions of concern from the conference over Donald Trump's pledge to withdraw from the COP21 agreement, rescind the Clean Power Plan and halt contributions to the UN climate fund for developing countries. 

But Filipsson still expressed optimism: the actions taken by foreign nations and individual U.S. states in moving towards emissions reductions have evolved independently of White House policy for a long time, and with EU leadership, he sees strong potential for continued progress in the Conference of Parties (COP) process.