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It’s time for maritime transport to get on board with climate action
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It’s time for maritime transport to get on board with climate action

It's Time for Maritime Transport to Get on Board With Climate Action


Northampton, MA –News Direct – Ceres

After years of neglecting its responsibility for the climate crisis, it’s time for the global shipping industry take meaningful action to reduce its carbon footprint.

Despite the fact, global maritime activity accounts for almost 3% of the world’s carbon emissions — or about as much as the country of Germany — the shipping industry has been a clear laggard when it comes to climate action.

Notoriously left out of the Paris AgreementEmissions from shipping rose 5.6% between 2012 and 2018, and could double by 2050This is due to the expected increase of global trade. If we hope to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, worldwide emissions must fall, immediately, dramatically and across all sectors of the economy — the shipping industry can’t shirk its responsibility any longer.

Much of the blame for shipping’s lackluster response to the climate emergency can be laid at the feet of the International Maritime Organization, or IMO. The IMO is a specialized United Nations agency that regulates greenhouse gas emissions from international maritime transport. Unfortunately, the organization’s regulatory approach has been inadequate.

The centerpiece of the IMO’s emissions reduction strategy is a mandate for the sector to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. Yet, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation, that target is insufficient — to reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the industry must meet that target by 2030, a full two decades earlier than currently required.

Fortunately, the IMO’s inaction has not stopped some private sector leaders from stepping up on climate action. Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, has committed to reach net zero across its value chain by 2050, and has set an interim science based emissions reduction target under The Business Ambition 1.5C initiative. Royal Caribbean recently became the first cruise lineIt announced its intention to set a science based target as part a larger company goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. A coalition of 200 signatoriesSigned a Call to Action asking governments to commit to decarbonizing global shipping by 2050, under the auspices Getting to Zero CoalitionA corporate alliance formed to accelerate the transition to zero-emission shipping.

As promising as these individual commitments are, shifting the shipping industry at the pace and scale that we need will require immediate and ambitious targets sector-wide.That’s why Ceres launched our Ambition 2030 initiative,The company is working to reduce carbon emissions in six of the largest emitting sectors of the economy. Shipping will play an important role in reducing global transportation emission. The ripple effect of big companies delivering on their promises can be felt throughout their supply chain, and this competitive cascade can encourage peers to take action.

As more countries take action, pressure is growing on the industry. At this month’s United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow, 14 countries, including the United States and Denmark, backed a goalTo eliminate maritime transport emissions by 2050. The United Kingdom has demanded that the shipping industry meet the European Union’s requirements. net zero emissions by 2050While the European Union aims to decarbonize the sector, moving to include shippingin its Emissions Trading Scheme. Moreover, the announcement was made by more than 20 countries, including the United States and Japan. Clydebank DeclarationAn agreement to support the establishment and operation of green shipping corridors. These are zero-emission maritime routes that connect two or more ports.

We need comprehensive international regulations that encourage industry-wide shifts to a zero carbon future in order to achieve the ambitious corporate and country targets. The IMO must take decisive actions. Strong action will not only help prevent the worst effects from climate change, but it will also provide a lifeline to shipping firms that are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Taking aggressive action now can stop global surface temperatures rising, sea levels rising, and agricultural losses. All of these will have an impact on maritime transport companies. The good news is that IMO has the chance to chart a new course.

This week, the IMO’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee is meeting to discuss several items related to industry-wide decarbonization. Agenda includes discussion on the establishment of a $100 levy per ton ofOceangoing vessels produce carbon dioxide emissions. These vessels are designed to bridge the cost gap between more expensive, high-carbon fuels and less-carbon-intensive bunker fuels. Delegates will also debate whether the IMO or the committee should agree that international maritime transport must achieve zero emissions no later then 2050.

Recognizing that international maritime activity needs to be decarbonized faster, it is crucial that those in power at the IMO vote for initiatives that align with the global climate goals. This meeting is a crucial opportunity for the IMO, which will ensure that the maritime transportation sector is decarbonized. The IMO cannot afford to miss this opportunity.

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