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ICS slams ship environmental lobby claims

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has issued a rebuttal of yesterday’s statements by environmental groups on shipping’s emissions performance, arguing that the industry is already delivering reductions in excess of governments’ commitments to cut carbon.

In an exchange of views ahead of next month’s UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, the ICS cites a reduction of “more than 10%” in ship CO2 emissions that has taken place between 2007 and 2012, despite continuing growth in maritime trade, and a reduction per cargo tonne-kilometre of “around 20% in the past 10 years”.

These results outpace the pledges made by 146 nations on CO2, which according to a Synthesis Report by the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) will deliver a 5% CO2 reduction per capita by 2030 compared to 2010, ICS says.

In addition, “IMO rules already adopted require all ships built after 2025 to be at least 30% more fuel efficient,” points out ICS. “As its contribution to the UN 2 degree centigrade climate change goal, shipping is committed to reducing CO2 per tonne-km by at least 50% before 2050.”

Furthermore, any additional cuts in shipping emissions would jeopardize the UN’s sustainable growth goals and hamper the improvement in living standards for less economically developed countries, argues ICS, since 90% of world trade is carried by shipping, which has been shown to benefit developed and developing countries equally. 

“The UNFCCC recognises that developed and developing nations should accept differing CO2 reduction commitments,” ICS concludes. “To suggest that the global shipping industry should be treated like a developed country for the purpose of setting CO2 targets is therefore inappropriate.”

Posted 24 November 2015

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