Special Edition on Limiting Shipping Emissions
The International Maritime Organisation's 72nd meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC72) met at the IMO HQ in London from the 9th to 13th April 2o18. In this Special Edition of the Pacific Green Business Centre Newsletter we cover this important meeting from the Pacific's perspective. 

Besides discussing the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, MEPC72 also discussed the implementation of sulphur 2020 limit, implementation of the Ballast Water Management Treaty, measures to reduce risks of use and carriage of heavy fuel oil as fuel by ships in the Arctic and marine litter.

The discussion on reduction of shipping emissions is of extreme importance to the Pacific. The measures that are to be put in place to make this happen need to be responsive to the Pacific's needs. What this means in real terms is that they need to both respond to the Paris Agreement and ensure we limit temperature rise to 1.5C and also do not disadvantage the Pacific in increased costs of transport (seeing that the Pacific already experiences the highest transport costs in the world).

This is the challenge that Pacific countries' delegates have as they face other countries in these negotiations at the IMO.
We have a deal. But is it a good one?

The outcome of the 72nd Marine Environment Protection Committee ( MEPC72) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) last week was acclaimed as a success for the organisation. But was it? The IMO meeting agreed to reduce shipping emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels.

This outcome, though less ambitious than what the Pacific would have liked, and what we need to save our Pacific peoples and their livelihoods, is a step in the right direction. It sends a signal to the industry that they need to make the changes necessary to move the maritime shipping sector towards eventual zero emissions. There is therefore a need for increased research in the use of renewable energy in shipping and zero carbon fuels and development of better efficiency ship designs.

Moment of truth for the climate (and the Pacific) at the IMO

The Pacific Islands are watching with interest the outcome of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) meetings in London this week.  The IMO, a United Nations organisation regulating the maritime shipping sector, is scheduled to deliver an Initial Strategy on international shipping GHG emissions reduction by the 72nd Maritime Environment Protection Committee meeting (MEPC 72). This IMO Initial Strategy will, among other matters, determine the vision and level of ambition, and is expected to include an ‘action plan’ on the development of short-term measures (2018-2023).

“The final agreement – the IMO moment of truth – to be reached in a few hours will cast the IMO as, either a rogue, or an engaged party on climate action towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.  We know through the OECD International Transport Forum latest report that almost full decarbonisation of the sector is possible by 2035, using existing technologies. This means that maritime shipping, as a sector of transport, has no right to be immune from the paradigm shift needed to achieve zero gas emissions by 2050. The fossil fuel industry, the energy sector, the aviation, the car industry and land transport sectors, the financing and investment industries have all understood the need to decarbonize, and with as much ambition and as early as possible” said the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, Franҫois Martel.  

New OECD report suggests Pacific calls for decarbonising shipping by 2050 is achievable 

March 30, 2018: A new report published by the International Transport Forum at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) finds that “maximum deployment of currently known technologies could make it possible to reach almost complete decarbonisation of maritime shipping by 2035.”

PIDF Secretary General, Francois Martel said, “All science suggests that a failure by the IMO to ensure the highest level of ambition and immediate action through adoption of real and substantive short-term measures is needed to keep alive the possibility of limiting temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees. We will be watching closely what countries will be doing in the IMO’s shipping emissions negotiations in light that all of them have ratified the Paris Agreement. Our member nations’ very survival is intimately pegged to these decisions! ”

Promoting the Pacific Position Paper on Shipping Emissions

The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) has published a Position Paper in regards to Shipping Emissions negotiations taking place at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).The IMO is scheduled to deliver an Initial Strategy on international shipping GHG emissions reduction by the 72nd Maritime Environment Protection Committee meeting (MEPC 72) in April 2018.

The Secretary General of the PIDF, François Martel said that this “paper recognises that failure by the global community to achieve a strong Initial Strategy will likely mean that future efforts from shipping will be insufficient to ensure the world limit temperature rise to 1.5⁰C. The Pacific has been clear on the need that the world limits temperature rise to 1.5⁰C, as also reflected in the Paris Agreement, and for us to do so all sectors need to do their part, including the Maritime transport sector.”


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