UN Agency Opposes EU Attempts To Cut Shipping Emissions

An EU proposal to include the shipping industry in its reforms to the EU’s carbon emissions trading system (ETS) has been met by opposition from the head of the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

In December, the European parliament voted in favour of the shipping industry’s emissions being included as part of its ETS scheme in an attempt to curb the emissions currently generated by this sector.

At present, the shipping industry accounts for 2.2 per cent of global emissions, although this is forecast to rise significantly if measures are not introduced to reduce it.

However, Kitack Lim, secretary general of the IMO, has penned a letter attacking the EU’s decision, stating that extending the EU’s ETS scheme to shipping “would not only be premature, but would seriously impact on the work of the IMO to address GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in shipping”.

In 2016, a plan was set out to introduce CO2 reduction commitments to the global shipping industry by 2023, a timeframe that many in Europe see as too far off.

Countries such as China, Brazil and India are concerned about the impact on their economic growth if emission reduction measures are introduced to the sector.

At an environmental meeting last year, Mr Lim expressed concern that current climate change measures do not allow for the growth expected in the shipping industry, Climate Change News reported.

He added that allocating emissions could be a difficult task, because of the nature of the industry and the amount of global travel large ships undertake.

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