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UN Text Opens Door for Fresh Talks on Targets,Carbon Market for Shipping, But Obstacles Remain

05/12/2015
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Text on how to deal with carbon emissions from international shipping has made it through to ministerial discussions at UNFCCC talks for the first time, creating hope that the Paris meeting could provide a signal that would revitalise high-level discussions about CO2 targets and market-based mechanisms for the sector.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol placed the responsibility for dealing with emissions from international shipping and aviation respectively with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), but in UNFCCC meetings since, the issue has been so fraught that any language on it has been dropped from the draft texts before making their way to ministers.

In the 18 years since Kyoto, the IMO has yet to put in place a framework for cutting shipping CO2, and emissions from the sector are on track to increase by 50-250% over 2012 levels by mid-century unless curbs are introduced.

However, in the text handed over to the French presidency at the ongoing Paris talks on Saturday, one paragraph – although heavily bracketed – was left in:

“Parties shall should other pursue the limitation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation and marine bunker fuels, working through the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, respectively, with a view to agreeing concrete measures addressing these emissions, including developing procedures for incorporating emissions from international aviation and marine bunker fuels into low-emission development strategies.”

John Maggs, a shipping and environment policy advisor with green group Seas At Risk, said this offered ministers the chance to send a strong signal to the IMO meeting next April that the industry must stop stalling and devise a concrete plan to reduce its swelling carbon footprint. [...]


CARBON PULSE

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