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EU Shipowners Applaud Aviation GHG Reduction Deal

This week the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) finalised a deal for a global market-based measure (MBM) to control Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from the international aviation industry from 2021 onwards through the use of offsets, a move that has been welcomed by the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA).

“We congratulate our aviation colleagues with this new milestone in reducing GHG emissions from global transport sectors”, said ECSA President Niels Smedegaard.

Referring to anticipated progress of shipping’s counterpart to the ICAO, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), later this month at the 70th Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) he said: “We are confident that at the end of this month the International Maritime Organisation will decide on the next steps for shipping.”

The ECSA secretary also further confirmed his support for the International Chamber’s (ICS) recent call to action that was aimed directly at the IMO (Read more about that here), stating that: “We fully support our colleagues at the International Chamber of Shipping in their recent plea to set a timeline for the further reduction of the shipping sector’s GHG emissions. It is important that IMO doesn’t stop at data collection and effectively responds to the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

At the 69th session of the IMO’s MEPC it was decided that a global CO2 data collection system would be developed for approval at the following MEPC session, with the view to becoming fully operational by 2018. The view of the IMO being that in order to reduce it, you must measure it first. Therefore, based on the data collected and the gaining of ‘real’ understanding into the sector’s emissions, realistic targets for CO2 emission reduction can be set.

Rather controversially (for shipping industry dwellers), ICAO secretary general Fang Liu called the aviation deal “a historic first” for the industry, citing the fact that aviation is the first transportation sector to take a global step to limit emissions.

However, the shipping industry may retaliate to Liu’s claims with the counter argument that the shipping industry already has made great progress with limiting emissions thanks to the introduction of a mandatory global CO2 reduction regime in 2013 – the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) – through which staged limits for improving the efficiency of newbuild ships are enforced.

Image: ICAO

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