Countries agree to cut shipping emissions, but not enough to stay within warming limits

Maritime nations agreed on Friday to cut emissions from the shipping industry to net zero by around 2050 in a deal that some experts and nations say falls short of what is needed to limit warming to limits agreed temperature.

Negotiators at the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization meeting in London, seen as key to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, have endorsed a deal for shipping emissions to reach net zero” by or around 2050.

The plan also calls for emissions from shipping to be cut by at least 20% but aim for 30% by 2030 and at least 70% but work towards 80% by 2040 despite pressure from Pacific countries for targets. more ambitious. Experts calculate that industry needs to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 to stay on track with the 1.5°C temperature target.

Environmentalists and some countries calling for more ambitious targets are unhappy with the deal, which does not set 2050 as a firm deadline for net-zero emissions or meet the warming limit set in the Paris accord.

Analysis suggests less and more ambitious intermediate targets would see the shipping industry use its carbon budget – a calculation of how much carbon dioxide various industries and countries can emit before global warming limits are exceeded – by the start of the next decade.

“We don’t have time to wait for regulation or alternative fuels to catch up with us,” said Diane Gilpin, founder and CEO of Smart Green Shipping in a press release Friday. “We need to act urgently and work with what we have.”

The IMO targets are reviewed every five years. The previous target was for the shipping industry to reduce its emissions by at least half from 2008 to 2050.

But environmentalists say other players may exceed the IMO emissions plan.

“National and regional actors must take the lead in adopting a more ambitious policy on shipping emissions, early companies must launch green shipping corridors to accelerate the adoption of carbon-free fuels,” said Jason Anderson. of the ClimateWorks Foundation.

Maritime transport currently accounts for almost 3% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the IMO. A report by the European Parliament has warned that this share could increase significantly by 2050 if steps are not taken to reduce the sector’s dependence on fossil fuels.


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