Maritime, Air Cargo Interests Welcome Paris Climate Accord - Global Trade Magazine
  December 16th, 2015 | Written by

Maritime, Air Cargo Interests Welcome Paris Climate Accord

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  • IMO is the only organization to adopt binding global energy-efficiency measures.
  • By 2025, all new ships will be 30 percent more energy efficient than those built last year.
  • IATA director general: The aviation industry is working towards its goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) both welcomed the achievements of the 2015 Paris Climate Change conference (COP21).

The Paris Climate Change Agreement identifies a goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

IMO has contributed, and will continue to contribute, to global greenhouse gas reduction goals. IMO, a United Nations agency, and its member states recognize the important need for international shipping, which accounts for 2.2 percent of CO2 emissions, to support global efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.

“The Paris Agreement represents remarkable progress,” said IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu. “The absence of any specific mention of shipping in the final text will in no way diminish the strong commitment of IMO as the regulator of the shipping industry to continue work to address GHG emissions from ships engaged in international trade.”

To date, IMO is the only organization to have adopted energy-efficiency measures that are legally binding across an entire global industry and apply to all countries. Mandatory energy efficiency standards for new ships, and mandatory operational measures to reduce emissions from existing ships, entered into force under an existing international convention in 2013. By 2025, all new ships will be legally required to be 30 percent more energy efficient than those built last year.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also welcomed the COP 21 Paris Agreement. “The agreement will provide additional momentum to governments for negotiations on an aviation emissions agreement,” said IATA director general Tony Tyler. “The aviation industry is working towards securing its goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020, and the positive outcome of the Paris conference gives more impetus to Governments to achieve this.” The aviation emissions negotiations are expected to conclude next year.

On the maritime side, continuing efforts will include development of a global data collection system for ship’s fuel consumption, further consideration of a total-sector reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, and continued investigation of additional mechanisms for ships to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

“I now encourage governments to bring the spirit of the Paris Agreement to IMO and come forward with new, creative proposals and to approach them in a constructive and cooperative manner,” Sekimizu said.