European efforts to minimize the shipping industry’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are being led by Germany, Belgium and France, according to a ranking compiled by sustainable transport NGO Transport & Environment (T&E).
The top three — followed by the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and then the UK, Denmark, Luxembourg and Finland — were the most active in pushing for an effective climate plan to be agreed by IMO.
The five worst-performing countries in the ranking, which is based on written and oral submissions to IMO by EU countries, are Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Croatia.
“When the European Parliament demanded action on shipping emissions back in 2017, the big European maritime nations cried out that the EU shouldn’t regulate shipping, as everyone was doing their best to get things done at the IMO,” claims Faig Abbasov, shipping officer with T&E. "But these same states are now working to derail progress on a climate deal for shipping at the IMO.”
The EU’s biggest shipping registries, Malta, Greece and Cyprus, received almost wholly negative points given what T&E claims is a “near complete lack of ambition in the climate negotiations”.
IMO will meet in April 2018 to adopt its Initial GHG Strategy for the sector. Key issues on the table include: agreement on a long-term emissions reduction target, a commitment to immediate action, and the shortlisting of candidate short, mid and long-term reduction measures.
Immediate measures under discussion include ship operational speed limits and tighter efficiency standards for new ships.
Shipping emits 3% of global CO2 and these emissions are increasing year-on-year. However it remains one of the few sectors of the global economy without sector-specific emissions-reduction targets.