Members of the European Parliament are calling on the EU and all other countries to include a requirement for reducing emissions from international shipping and aviation at this year’s Paris climate summit.
The European Parliament said Wednesday that the EU and its member states must call for a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and scale up climate financial commitments at the COP21 UN climate talks in Paris in December.
The MEPs point out that transport is the second-largest sector generating greenhouse gas emissions and calls on the parties to COP21 to work through corresponding UN agencies, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), on measures to curb their emissions by the end of 2016.
The IMO has argued that any discussion on shipping’s contribution to global CO2 emissions must be held at the IMO, not left to individual governments that may be tempted to consider specific measures aimed at reducing shipping’s overall contribution of CO2 emissions.
In a speech during a shipping conference in Singapore in September, IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu pointed to IMO’s proven track record in developing measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and mitigate its contribution to climate change, such as the 1997 adoption of the Protocol to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, known as MARPOL Annex VI, and amendments that followed.
The IMO’s stance on climate change and refusal to challenge shipping emissions has drawn widespread criticism, most recently from the Republic of the Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony de Brum, who labelled IMO secretary general Koji Sekimizu’s attitude as “a danger to the planet”.
Chiming in on the topic, Sotiris Raptis, shipping policy officer at the non-governmental organization Transport & Environment, commented: “The Parliament has sent a clear message to the EU and all negotiators at Paris; the aviation and shipping sectors need emissions reduction targets too, so there is no reasonable excuse to continue exempting them. You just can’t have a global deal to combat climate change without capping the growing emissions from international aviation and shipping, which have CO2 emissions equal to those of the UK and Germany respectively.”