45 countries want shipping's emissions to be zero in 2050
28 MAR 2023
Nonetheless, a small group of large countries doesn’t see any reason to wind down ambitions, shows new data on IMO attitudes.
45 member nations want the United Nations’ (UN) seafarers’ organization, the International Maritime Organizations (IMO), to adopt an ambitious climate act, once the IMO will host its next and decisive meeting at its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in early July.
The University College London (UCL) has conducted and published a statistical survey on countries’ attitudes towards the revision of the 2050 agreement and, more specifically, the decarbonization of shipping.
Here, the UCL found that about a fourth of member nations expressed a want for having CO2 emissions be zero in 2050, contrasted with the existing agreement that aims for a halving.
The survey is interesting as the procedures leading up the MEPC meetings usually don’t occur with a public, compiled list of which nations want what things.
After last week’s preparatory meeting ahead of the MEPC meeting in July, UCL decided to publish the names of the most ambitious nations.
As well as of those who want to maintain the existing agreement.
Good or bad vantage point?
The countries in favor of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 are:
The 27 EU nations, the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Fiji, the Marshal Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Mexico, Norway, Bahamas, New Zealand, Australia, Kiribati, Tonga, Panama, Cook Islands, and Türkiye.
The question is whether this is good vantage point with less than 100 days to the decisive meeting. The nature of the answer depends on the respondent.
Large nations want to keep current targets
Several large countries opposed higher climate ambitions for global shipping.
Trade and employer organization Danish Shipping’s director general and CEO Anne H. Steffensen underscores that there is a need for immediate action.
”We need to act today rather than tomorrow, and it is crucial for the nations in the IMO to set aside their disagreements and adopt an ambitious greenhouse gas strategy this summer. We need to get everybody on board and find ways to secure that nobody is left behind,” she proclaims.
Last week’s meeting at the IMO coincided with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPPC) latest statement on the state of the globe and its adherence/nonadherence to the Paris Agreement’s target of a maximum temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
This was grounds for disappointment at several NGOs that attend the IMO meetings.
Here, they note that negotiations aren’t making much headway, and there is still a group of countries that continue to slam the brakes.
”We haven’t moved an inch. Everything remains as it were Monday morning,” Faig Abbasov, shipping program director at NGO Transport & Environment, said on Friday afternoon.
What happened to agreeing?
The researchers at UCL posit that the meeting last week on one side gave greater clarity to how countries position themselves, but also that such positioning is far from being evident in the new strategy.
”Despite the repeated support across meetings for a just and equitable transition that leaves none behind, there is little sign of this commitment being embedded throughout the revised strategy as of yet,” says Dr. Alison Shaw, research fellow at UCL.
The US, Canada and multiple countries of Oceania have offered a proposal to the industry. It includes new and ambitious intermediary targets for CO2 reduction in 2030 (37 percentage points) and 2040 (96 percentage points) in order to reach zero emissions by 2050.
According to UCL, 37 nations are in favor of reduction targets in 2030 while 43 nations are in favor of 2040 targets.
(source: 45 countries want shipping's emissions to be zero in 2050 — ShippingWatch)