Shipping emissions under scrutiny at Durban COP

For so long swimming free of any control over its emissions, the shipping industry is at last wriggling on the hook of the UN climate change process. One test of the Durban conference will be whether campaigners can haul in this big fish towards the regulatory net.

This week has seen the industry’s pawns deployed in smart defence through reports released by the International Maritime Organization and the International Chamber of Shipping.

There’s not enough space here to explain all the issues. The ICS paper has clear illustrations and is written in plain english, with a talent for closing out arguments with apparent killer statements:

the same rules need to apply at both ends of the voyage. Otherwise there would be chaos

It’s a helpful read provided you remember where the industry body is coming from. The European Union proposal to include shipping in its carbon trading scheme from 2013 is complete anathema, not to speak of the recent UK government recommendation to include shipping emissions in its carbon budget.

And you will search the ICS paper in vain for any reference to a tax on bunker fuel that is a favoured option for financing the Green Climate Fund. My guess is that the tax proposal will be strengthened in a following wind at Durban.


this post was first published by OneWorld UK