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Shipping must 'rise to the challenge' following Paris agreement: IMO

Shipping must 'rise to the challenge' following Paris agreement: IMO
The IMO, which has been entrusted as the sole UN body regulating shipping at the conclusion of COP21, has pledged to support global efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Praising the “remarkable progress” of the Paris agreement, outgoing IMO secretary general Koji Sekimizu said that “The absence of any specific mention of shipping in the final text will in no way diminish the strong commitment of IMO as the regulator of the shipping industry to continue work to address GHG emissions from ships engaged in international trade.”

IMO stated there was “a clear imperative now for IMO’s Member States to rise to the challenge set by the Paris Agreement”, and that its 2016 Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) would focus on developing a global data collection system for ship’s fuel consumption, as well as examining the feasibility of an industry-wide reduction target for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the body said in its statement, “as proposed by the Marshall Islands in 2015.”

Earlier this year, the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs called IMO “a danger to the planet” over its failure to set targets for emissions reductions for shipping. However, IMO said that it “has contributed, and will continue to contribute, to global GHG reduction goals.”

“The Paris climate change agreement identifies a clear goal of ‘holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels’”, said IMO’s statement. “IMO and its Member States recognise the important need for international shipping, which accounts for 2.2% of CO2 anthropogenic emissions, to support global efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.”

Sekimizu also extended his challenge to ship designers and marine engineers, ship managers and operators, seafarers, and the shipping business, “which needs to ensure that investment in innovative low carbon technologies is properly incentivised.”

“I now encourage Governments to bring the spirit of the Paris Agreement to IMO and come forward with new, creative proposals and to approach them in a constructive and cooperative manner,” said Sekimizu.