Shipping emissions are predicted to increase between 50% and 250% by 2050 . The European Shipper’s Council has been always favouring a global approach to this global problem. Regional regulations should not be put in place as they bring a risk of distortion of competition and traffic avoidance. But transparency and real energy efficiency of ships are the two elements that will bring improvement to the global warming fight. The EU should make sure these elements are reflected in the agreement of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Considerable attempts have been made by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to ensure a fair contribution of the sector to the objective of the Paris agreement to limit the increase of the temperatures to +1,5°C in the years to come. In this respect, reducing CO2 emissions and limit environmental impact of maritime transport has always been very important for shippers.
In 2016, the IMO reached an important deal on a global data collection system to tackle CO2 emissions. Also, it agreed to develop a Road Map for addressing CO2 emissions from international shipping, with initial CO2 reduction commitments to be agreed on by 2018. The work is still going on at the global level. However, these global schemes are not perfect, even though they are aiming at the right direction.
To keep a level-playing field, our organisation, the ESC has been always favouring a global approach. The “Monitor, Report and Verify scheme” that was put in place by the European Commission a few years ago is very interesting. ESC believes that there is a lot to take from to improve the current IMO global proposal.
Namely, the transparency of data is of utmost importance if we want a real change. All data collected should be available, so that the customers of maritime carriers can choose their supplier easily following environmental characteristics (which is not yet the case). Real energy efficiency of ships though challenging should be considered as a prerequisite to any global regulation.
In the past (and coming) consultation process organised by the European Commission, ESC proposed (and will propose) to support the IMO global solution if, and only if, it is improved thanks to the EU proposal on transparency and real energy efficiency of ships. These two elements if implemented will bring a different to our environment. The EU should take a leading role in this task but not by imposing a regulation which will harm its economy but rather by making the IMO deal even greater.