EU Calls for New Global Shipping Agenda


EU Transport and Environment Ministers are to meet on April 14-15 in Amsterdam for an informal joint Council meeting under the Dutch EU Presidency to discuss how Member States could make a positive and constructive contribution to achieve an international framework of CO2 reduction commitments for the shipping industry.

This follows news that the industry was left off of the COP21 global emissions agenda, with Maersk requesting to be put back on the agenda.

Niels Smedegaard, President of the European Community Ship owners Association (ECSA), said: “We fully support the initiative of the Dutch Presidency. The shipping industry endorses the Paris agreement on climate change and we are committed to ambitious CO2 emission reductions across the world merchant fleet.

“With the shipping industry’s support, Member States of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will be able to develop meaningful CO2 reduction commitments for the international shipping sector as a whole that are both ambitious and realistic.”

The informal Council meeting is held ahead of the 69th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) session, which takes place next week in London.

MEPC will feature a discussion on a global data collection system that will provide information on the emissions from maritime shipping on an annual basis.

Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of the ECSA, said: “We believe that this system should have mandatory application. A decision in IMO should come forward in 2016 so that ships can provide the required data as soon as possible.”

The ECSA also supports the proposal of its international partner ICS (International Chamber of Shipping) for IMO Member States to adopt an Intended IMO Determined Contribution.

This would make IMO Member States and the shipping industry answerable to the international community, in the same way that governments committed to Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs).

The adoption of an Intended IMO Determined Contribution would also make it clear that the reduction of the sector’s CO2 emissions is being addressed robustly by IMO Member States.

Patrick Verhoeven concluded: “The development of an Intended IMO Determined Contribution should be part of a clear work plan and timetable, to be elaborated as of this year.”

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