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  June 12th, 2017 | Written by

Canadian Shipping Endorses International CO2 Reduction Targets

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  • ICS urging IMO to adopt the emission reduction objectives for international shipping as a whole.
  • Canadian Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipowners are committed to environmental protection.
  • Marine shipping is an international business and it is important that we have one global solution on climate change.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) is endorsing proposed international targets to reduce marine shipping’s carbon emissions per ton-kilometer by 50 percent by 2050 in order to match the ambition of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Last month, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) agreed to urge the UN agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to adopt the reduction objectives on behalf of the international shipping sector as a whole.

“Canadian Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipowners are committed to environmental protection and fully endorse this proactive global approach to reducing the carbon footprint of marine shipping,” said Bruce Burrows, president of the CMC. “Similar to the airline industry, marine shipping is an international business and it is important that we have one global solution to the challenge of climate change.”

The objectives endorsed by ICS include maintaining international shipping’s annual total CO2 emissions below 2008 levels; reducing CO2 emissions across international shipping by at least 50 percent by 2050, compared to 2008; and reducing international shipping’s total annual CO2 emissions by an agreed percentage by 2050, compared to 2008, as a point on a continuing trajectory of CO2 emissions reduction. ICS will suggest in July that IMO should adopt these objectives as part of the initial IMO CO2 reduction strategy to be agreed in 2018, following the adoption of an IMO Roadmap at the request of the industry in 2016.

“Marine shipping is already the most carbon efficient way to transport goods and it has globally reduced emissions by 13 percent between 2008 and 2012,” said Burrows, “but given projections for increasing world trade the sector recognizes that more needs to be done internationally to continue that progress.”

Burrows added that Canadian shipowners have been trailblazers in tackling greenhouse gases through environmental improvement programs like Green Marine and adopting new technologies. “Canadian shipowners have spent more than $2 billion during the past few years on new vessels and advanced technologies that significantly reduce fuel consumption and corresponding carbon emissions,” he said. “The level of investment and innovation is really unprecedented. There are already 18 new and revamped Canadian-flag ships sailing these waters and a further 14 coming in the next two years.”

Last month, CMC member Desgagnés christened and launched the first dual-fuel asphaltbitumen-chemical tanker in the world that can be powered by different types of fuel including liquefied natural gas, which substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions. LNG refueling distribution networks for vessels without specific service points and trading various routes remain a major challenge, but they are under development in collaboration with a number of business partners. Gaz Métro and the Port of Montreal also announced last month that an LNG supply solution for marine fuel will now be available at the Port of Montreal.