2011: A year of progress for global shipping
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 | 00:00
Looking back on 2011, the last 12 months will be remembered as a pivotal year for the shipping industry and climate change, with the first extra-territorial and unilateral emissions reduction legislation agreed by the United Nations' International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London in July.
Under increasing pressure to join the global effort to reduce CO2 emissions, the IMO adopted the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) as part of MARPOL Annex VI, both of which will become enforceable in 2013. Although the regulations should be deemed a significant step forward, EEDI and SEEMP alone will not be the last carbon regulation shipping will face over the next few years, with both UNFCCC and the European Union currently deliberating over market based measures.
Pressure from the EU looks set to continue into 2012 as it strives to deliver against emission reduction targets of 20% by 2020 versus 1990 levels – without complete dependence upon achieving a global agreement incorporating all emitting industries. These targets have spurred extensive discussion and evaluation of a potential emissions trading system or bunker levy, which has dominated shipping's green agenda this year, with passionate arguments being laid down on both sides.
With the EU at the fore, talks at COP17 in Durban in December 2011 saw shipping mooted as a major contributor to the Green Climate Fund, and delegates agreed to define new market mechanisms and create a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, which will have significant implications for shipping.
Other initiatives proposed by the European Commission this year include new legislation to significantly improve the monitoring and reporting of GHG emissions in line with a series of EU climate and energy targets for 2013-2020. Shipping is one of many sectors that will come under closer scrutiny, making data transparency crucial. This will also be fundamental to the development of successful market-based measures.
Source: Carbon Positive
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