12/18/2015 Crew

IMO Participation in the COP21

By Notices

An agreement was adopted on December 12 at the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21). Although earlier drafts included phrasing regarding the responsibilities and goals of transportation industries, the final document omitted the reference.

At the beginning of the conference, International Maritime Organization (IMO) presented their mission and procedural requirements to the assembly. The IMO mission statement is: “Safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.” The IMO and the equivalent aviation agency - International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) - encouraged wording to assign them to the management of carbon emissions within each segment.

IMO cited the existence of initiatives already in place by the organization. For example, in 2013 it initiated, through intermediary targets, requirements that all vessels constructed after 2025 be 30% more efficient than those built in 2000. They also noted the organization is global and flag neutral during lobbying to make it the regulatory body for climate change in shipping matters.

The 12/5 draft of the agreement identified maritime and aviation as significant contributors to global emissions, projecting the industries to grow to 1/3 of all emissions by 2050. It also included the phrasing: “…International Maritime Organization… with a view to agreeing concrete measures addressing these emissions, including developing procedures for incorporating emissions from international aviation and marine bunker fuels into low-emission development strategies.” That wording was removed from the approved agreement. No wording regarding emission regulation or carbon levy within the maritime sector was in the final document. The 1997 Kyoto protocol omitted targets for the industries, but referred regulatory control to IMO and ICAO - recognizing international transport as indispensable to the world.