MUMBAI: 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.
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 explained: “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.”
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 2050.
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.”
He further added, “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.