Shipping state Marshall Islands urges curbs on maritime emissions

Published 18:51 on April 21, 2015  /  Last updated at 19:17 on April 21, 2015  /  International, Shipping  /  No Comments

The Pacific island state of the Marshall Islands wants global curbs on maritime emissions to be agreed ahead of a December UN climate summit, it said in a statement.

The Pacific island state of the Marshall Islands wants global curbs on maritime emissions to be agreed ahead of a December UN climate summit, it said in a statement.

The Marshall Islands has made a submission to the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO), whose Marine Environmental Protection Committee is due to meet to discuss climate issues on May 11-15.

The tiny nation is among a group of poorer small states vulnerable to the effects of climate change that frequently call for greater climate ambition. The move on shipping is notable because the Marshall Islands draws much of its earnings from the fees it collects as the world’s third biggest shipping registry.

Along with international aviation, emissions from shipping have been excluded from the remit of the UNFCCC climate negotiations but their growing share of greenhouse gas output has put these sectors in the crosshairs.

A 2011 deal at the IMO meant international shipping became the first industry to agree a global CO2 reduction strategy with a measure forcing energy efficiency measures on all new ships.

But pressure for the sector to take further steps is building, especially as the aviation industry has committed to hold its net emissions at 2020 levels, and projections are for maritime emissions to grow considerably.

The Marshall Islands pointed out that the IMO’s own research shows that maritime emissions are responsible for around 3% of global greenhouse gas output but are expected to rise by 50-250% by 2050 without further action.

By Ben Garside – ben@carbon-pulse.com