The International Chamber of Shipping
(ICS) is representing the world’s national shipowners’ associations and over 80
percent of the world merchant fleet at the United Nations Climate Change
Conference (COP 23) in Bonn this week.
ICS will emphasise how the shipping
industry is supporting the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) to
develop an ambitious CO2 reduction strategy.
ICS Director of Policy, Simon Bennett
“ICS has a vision of zero CO2 emissions
from shipping in the second half of the century. We are confident
this will be achievable with alternative fuels and new propulsion
technologies”, says a release from ICS.
ICS says its vision might be delivered
with batteries or fuel cells using renewable energy, other new technologies
such as hydrogen or even something not yet anticipated.
In the meantime, the shipping industry
has proposed that IMO Member States should adopt a suitably ambitious goal for
reducing total emissions from the entire international shipping sector by an
agreed percentage by 2050.
ICS is pleased that a large number of
IMO Member States have already come forward with detailed proposals.
Several EU and Pacific island nations have jointly proposed that the
sector should reduce total CO2 by as much as 70 percent by
Mr Bennett commented:
“Japan has set out in detail to IMO how
a 50 percent total cut by 2060 might be achieved. In view of projections
for future trade growth, an objective in this range, while still incredibly
ambitious, therefore seems more realistic.”
“It will be for governments to agree the
actual reduction number when they adopt an initial IMO strategy next
April. And this is also going to have to address the legitimate concerns
of major economies such as China and India about the implications for future
trade and their sustainable development.”
Whatever is decided, ICS says that the
entire world fleet is probably unlikely to enjoy global access to new
alternative fuels for at least another 20 or 30 years. Moreover,
population growth and further improvements to global living standards will
probably determine that demand for shipping must continue to increase, as it is
already by far the most carbon efficient form of commercial transport.
ICS says that, using a combination of
technical and operational measures, the international shipping sector already
appears to have reduced and held its total annual CO2 emissions
at about 8 percent below its 2008 peak. This is despite an increase of
about 30 percent in maritime trade, estimated in tonnes of cargo transported
one nautical mile (tonne-miles) over the period up to the end of 2015.
ICS cautions that these latest estimates
by third parties will have to be verified by the next official IMO Greenhouse
Study in 2019 using the new IMO CO2 Data Collection
“They are nevertheless encouraging especially given the dramatic reduction in
fuel prices since 2014. Moreover, a significant increase in marine fuel
costs is expected in 2020 due to the mandatory global switch by the entire
world fleet to low sulphur fuels. This should greatly incentivise, to the
extent this is possible, the further reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
by ships.” said Mr Bennett.