Page 14 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2016 publication
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14  Spring 2016 European Energy Innovation


After Paris 2015
How shipping can contribute to
efforts to limit climate change

By Jos Delbeke (pictured), Director-General, DG Climate Action, European Commission

The Paris Agreement adopted             The historic Agreement sets out a           Such growth would increase the
            by world leaders last       global action plan to put the world         share of shipping in the global total
            December marked a critical  on track to avoid dangerous climate         of CO2 emissions, which today stands
            turning point in the fight  change by limiting global warming to        at 2.5%. Given the need to reduce
against climate change: a move from     well below 2°C, and to pursue efforts       global emissions in line with the "well
action by few to action by many.        to limit the increase to 1.5°C.             below 2°C" objective, it therefore
                                                                                    risks undermining the efforts of other
                                        As a universal and legally binding          sectors. This clearly underlines the
                                        agreement, it sends a clear signal to       need for the shipping industry to
                                        investors, businesses, and policy-makers    deliver its fair share contribution to the
                                        that the global transition to clean energy  fight against climate change.
                                        is our future and that resources have to
                                        shift away from fossil fuels.               Stopping and reversing this alarming
                                                                                    growth in shipping emissions is
                                        The combination of the clear call for       possible. According to the second
                                        global action and the "well below           IMO greenhouse gas study, there
                                        2°C" goal shows that no part of the         is significant untapped potential
                                        economy can be excluded. It is clear,       to reduce emissions by up to 75%
                                        therefore, that CO2 emissions from          by using existing technologies and
                                        international aviation and maritime         operational measures. Many of these
                                        transport should also be addressed as       measures can be described as 'low-
                                        a matter of urgency, particularly as they   hanging fruits' and would be paid
                                        are expected to increase sharply in the     for by the resulting fuel cost savings.
                                        coming years.                               So taking action on emissions from
                                                                                    shipping does not have to lead to
                                        INCREASING EMISSIONS FROM                   significantly higher costs.
                                        Studies suggest that global CO2             IMPORTANT PROGRESS BUT
                                        emissions from international maritime       GREATER EFFORTS NEEDED
                                        transport increased by around               At global level, the IMO, which started
                                        65% between 1990 and 2010. If               its work on greenhouse gas emissions
                                        no further measures are taken, this         back in the 1990s, has made some
                                        trend is expected to continue. The          important progress. The Energy
                                        third greenhouse gas study by the           Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which
                                        International Maritime Organisation         was adopted in 2011 and set CO2
                                        (IMO), the UN body dealing with             standards for new ships built after
                                        international maritime transport,           2013 with increasing levels of ambition
                                        predicts a significant increase in the      until 2025, was an important step
                                        coming decades. Depending on future         forward. It is expected to reduce the
                                        economic and energy developments,           sector's greenhouse gas emissions by
                                        emissions are estimated to increase by      20% by 2030 compared to a ‘business
                                        between 50% and 250% by 2050 (see           as usual' scenario.
                                        Figure 1).

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