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Shipowners regret Copenhagen's 'lack of direction' for shipping and warn of risks

Shipowners regret Copenhagen's 'lack of direction' for shipping and warn of risks

London: The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represented shipping at last week's UN Climate Change Conference, says it is 'disappointed' that the text of the final (non-binding) Copenhagen Accord is 'silent on the treatment of international shipping in the delivery of further CO2 emission reductions, to which the industry remains firmly committed.' 

For the moment at least, UNFCCC has been unable to agree a clear mandate for the IMO on how to build upon the considerable work it has already undertaken on a package of technical, operational and economic measures for reducing shipping's emissions on a global basis, reports the ICS, which represents shipowner associations in 33 countries (but not China) controlling 75% of the world fleet.

'In particular, it remains unclear how the Kyoto Protocol principle of 'Common But Differentiated Responsibility' (CBDR) should be reconciled with the important need for global rules on CO2 reductions for the carriage of world trade,' it says. A global carbon reduction regime for shipping simply can't work when around 65% of the world fleet is currently registered with 'Non-Annex I' nations under the existing Kyoto Protocol, meaning they are not bound to any carbon reduction regime, it points out. 
'It is vital for all governments to understand that, in the absence of a global package agreed by IMO, there is a serious risk that some countries will develop unilateral measures to regulate at national or regional level the CO2 emissions of ships trading internationally,' warns the ICS. 'Such unilateral measures would likely result in serious market distortions and - most importantly - be far less effective in ensuring the reduction of CO2 emissions by the global shipping sector as a whole.'

IMO will next debate a solution for shipping CO2 emissions at the next meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee in March 2010.  [21/12/09]