The international shipping industry is firmly committed to playing its part in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and Green House Gases.
International shipping is already, by far, the most carbon efficient mode of commercial transport (see graph). But it is fully recognised that CO2 emissions from the industry as a whole (some 3% of global emissions) are comparable to those of a major national economy.
The shipping industry therefore accepts that the CO2 emission reduction which ships must aim to achieve should be at least as ambitious as the CO2 emission reduction agreed under any new United Nations Climate Change Convention.
However, shipping is the servant of world trade. The total emissions of shipping, as a sector, will therefore be determined, to a significant extent, by the expected long term growth of the world economy (and population) between now and 2050.
The IMO Package for Reducing Shipping’s CO2
The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee has already developed a package of measures for reducing shipping’s CO2 emissions, with an agreed timetable for adoption. Inter alia, these
•A system of energy efficiency design indexing for new ships (similar in concept to the ratings applied to cars and electrical appliances)
•A template for a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for use by all ships. The SEEMP allows companies and ships to monitor and improve performance with regard to various factors that may contribute to CO2 emissions. These include, inter alia: improved voyage planning; speed management;
weather routeing; optimising engine power, use of rudders and propellers; hull maintenance and use of different fuel types.
•The ingredients for possible economic measures that could be applied globally to shipping in order to encourage emission reduction.
Governments at IMO have also agreed key principles for the development of regulations on CO2 from ships so that they will:
1. Effectively reduce CO2 emissions
2. Be binding and include all flag states
3. Be cost effective
4. Not distort competition
5. Be based on sustainable development without restricting trade and growth
6. Be goal-based and not prescribe particular methods
7. Stimulate technical research and development in the entire maritime sector
8. Take into account new technology
9. Be practical, transparent, free of fraud and easy to administer
Marine contribution to global CO2 emissions
International Shipping 2.7%
Shipping & domestic fishing 0.6%
(Source: Second IMO GHG Study 2009 (MEPC 59/INF.10))