Oceana issued the following statement from senior campaign director Jacqueline Savitz today in response to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) failure to discuss the application of limits on greenhouse gas emissions to the global shipping fleet.
There are only five countries that out-rank the global shipping fleet in carbon dioxide emissions – the shipping industry releases more carbon dioxide than Germany, and nearly as much as Japan according to IMO reports.
“Oceana is deeply troubled by the apparent decision of the IMO – on the first day of its meeting – to formally side-step any discussion about the application of greenhouse gas requirements to ships. There is a clear need for mandatory requirements to control emissions that contribute to climate change. Ships are credited with releasing more than one billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year and could account for about 20 percent of carbon dioxide emissions globally by 2050 under the business-as-usual scenario.
The single most important action the IMO could have taken this week – in its last scheduled meeting prior to the Copenhagen Conference – is to fulfill its responsibility to regulate global warming pollution from ships. It appears that instead there will be continued discussion of measurement tools such as efficiency indices. The IMO committee did agree, after considerable debate, to discuss market based measures but only under the condition that the subject of whether the measures would be mandatory or voluntary is side-stepped. The IMO’s decision today compromises its ability to fulfill its responsibilities, and necessitates the setting of an additional ‘intersessional’ meeting prior to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen this December. If the IMO is not up to the task, then other bodies such as the UNFCCC, the EU or other nations may need to take action.”