Historic global climate agreement for shipping achieved
The UN Maritime Organization, IMO, has just adopted the long-awaited CO2 reduction strategy for shipping. Today, the shipping industry accounts for 2.2 per cent of the world's total emissions, which corresponds to a country like Germany. This proportion is expected to grow if no action is taken. Therefore all eyes have been on IMO and there has been a clear expectation from the outside world that the IMO countries should agree on a strategy ensuring that shipping delivers on an equal footing with other industries in relation to the Paris agreement.
"From the very start, Danish Shipping has worked for an ambitious result in line with the Paris Agreement. Therefore, I am very pleased that the IMO countries shouldered responsibility and did not leave the shipping industry to be continuously criticized for lack of regulation and in that case, take the consequences of, for example, regional regulation from the EU. This is a historical agreement, "says Maria Skipper Schwenn, Executive Director at Danish Shipping.
Specifically, the following objectives were agreed: To strengthen design requirements for each ship type, a relative reduction of 40 per cent by 2030, and by 2050, global shipping shall reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 50 per cent compared with 2008 and subsequently head for a complete phase-out.
In 2016, Danish Shipping conducted a study of possible ways to meet the objectives of the Paris agreement and exactly 50 per cent absolute reduction in 2050 proved to be one of the possible ways.
"Danish Shipping has over the past couple of years taken an active part in the debate based on the scientific arguments in our study. I am very pleased that the political compromise between the 173 IMO member countries also reached a level which is sufficiently ambitious. Achieving these goals will be a major task and will require massive research and development efforts, as we will eventually have to use alternative fuels resulting in zero emissions at all. With the clear reduction target in mind, the shipping industry is ready to work towards the goal, and Danish Shipping will particularly engage in the development of alternative fuels," says Maria Skipper Schwenn.
The IMO countries will meet this fall to initiate discussions on concrete actions which shall deliver CO2 reductions. In this respect there will be a distinction between short, medium and long term measures such as optimization of ship designs, improvements in port operations, fuel taxes and development of alternative zero emission fuels.