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Five more countries back the 2050 zero shipping emissions target at the UN this week

At least five more countries now support aligning the IMO’s climate goals with the Paris Agreement. The Cook Islands, Mexico, Myanmar, Colombia and Malaysia publicly endorsed the 2050 zero shipping emission target for the first time at MEPC 78.

Delegates debated revising the IMO’s current climate strategy and will continue the negotiations at MEPC 79 in December, while gathering for additional working group talks (ISWG-GHG) beforehand.

Why this matters: There is a growing majority among IMO member states in favour of the Paris Agreement-aligned ambition to clean up international shipping.

Shipping is a major climate polluter that is not yet on track to meet the 1.5°C climate-warming target of the Paris Agreement. The IMO currently aims to “only” halve emissions from ships by 2050, but is in the process of revising this goal. Delegates must reach a decision by MEPC 80 in 2023.

50 countries have endorsed the 2050 zero shipping emissions target at the IMO so far (MEPC 77 and MEPC 78): the UK, France, Norway, Greece, Australia, Germany, Canada, the US, Liberia, Cyprus, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Vanuatu, Denmark, Finland, Republic of Marshall Islands, Japan, the Bahamas, the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Iceland, Malta, Croatia, Slovenia, Panama, Ukraine, Palau, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Jamaica, Tonga, Tuvalu, Myanmar, Colombia, Malaysia, Fiji, Georgia, Poland, Portugal, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Nicaragua, and Kenya.

A narrowing group of countries stopped short – once again – of endorsing this level of ambition due to procedural objections and a lack of data.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that governments must halve emissions by 2030 on the way to full decarbonisation by 2050, to keep global warming to 1.5°C.
Source: Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC)

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