Countries must take decisive action at talks aimed at accelerating decarbonisation in the shipping industry, the United Nations’ shipping agency chief said on Monday, as pressure for change builds.
Shipping, which transports around 90% of world trade and accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, is facing growing calls from environmentalists and investors to deliver more concrete action including a carbon levy.
Delegates of the U.N.’s shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), are meeting in London this week for preliminary discussions ahead of next week’s crucial session of the IMO’s marine environment (MEPC) committee.
The IMO has pledged to halve greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from ships by 2050, from 2008 levels, a commitment that lags European Union and U.S. plans to reach zero net emissions by that date.
The MEPC will finalise the draft 2023 strategy on reducing GHG emissions from ships and examine other measures including various proposals for a carbon levy.
“It is now time to work together on increasing the level of ambition for 2050 and establish the intermediate check points by 2030 and 2040,” IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said in a speech to delegates.
“Do not wait for the last minute at MEPC to make the compromises and find the solutions, a positive outcome from this group is key to a success next week, and for the future work of this Organization.”
Lim said 2023 was “IMO’s year of decisive climate action”.
“The stakes are high and the expectations even higher.”