As part of this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (UNCCC COP23) in Bonn, consolidating the aims and ambitions of the Paris Agreement, a group of international shipping leaders will meet on 13 November, onboard the RheinFantasie river vessel, to create an Action Plan for the decarbonisation of the maritime sector.
The Paris Agreement’s goal is to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees C and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees C, which urges for immediate action from the global community, including the shipping sector, accounting for 2.5% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Concluding COP21 in 2015, the final text of the agreement did not include regulation of the shipping industry. Many industry stakeholders had expressed their disappointment over this decision. According to forecasts, shipping emissions are expected to rise, therefore, the industry has taken actions to tackle the issue.
During last year’s UNCCC COP22 held in Marrakech (COP22), IMO presented its mitigation actions in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Earlier in 2016, MEPC 70 had adopted a mandatory data collection system on fuel oil consumption of ships and approved a Roadmap for developing a ‘Comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships’. IMO expects to release in 2018 an initial plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to agree a final strategy by 2023.
Currently, according to data provided by UN, temperatures have already risen by around one degree Celsius over pre-industrial times. In addition, a new report published by World Resources Institute (WRI) now suggests that 49 countries have already seen their emissions peak, representing around 36% of current global emissions. Another 8 countries representing another 23% of emissions have commitments to peak in the next decade or so.
In response, and in the field of the maritime activity, the ‘Ambition 1.5oC Global Shipping’s Action Plan’ summit will seek to develop the Action Plan, using as a framework the reviewed and accelerated ‘pathway’ developed by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative.
Co-organisers of ‘Ambition 1.5oC Global Shipping’s Action Plan’ include Lloyd’s Register, MAN Diesel & Turbo, RightShip, MARIKO, Danish Shipping, International Windship Association (IWSA) and Green Ship of the Future. The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) and Carbon War Room are acting as advisors.
Earlier this month, it was announced that the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) and the International Windship Association (IWSA) collaborated to promote wind technology in the industry.
A recent controversial report by InfluenceMap earlier this month claimed that the shipping industry has deliberately blocked international efforts towards climate change, by creating lobby groups to keep shipping out of the Paris Agreement.
However, IMO stated that the second meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from ships, held on 23-27 October and decided at MEPC 71 in July, has made progress in starting to shape a draft initial IMO GHG strategy.
A progress in the shaping of a draft comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships has already been reported to the COP 23 from IMO’s Stefan Micallef.
In addition to this, the international shipping sector already appears to have reduced and held its total annual CO2 emissions at about 8% below its 2008 peak, ICS stated at the opening of the Conference, on Monday.
With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Shipping industry event updates can be followed via the Twitter account @ShipAmbition1_5 and by using the hashtag #ShippingCOP23
Find out more about COP23 at https://cop23.unfccc.int/