Page 8 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2017 publication
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8 Spring 2017 European Energy Innovation

How shipping can contribute

to the global climate effort

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

Untapping the emissions                     emissions could grow by between            CO2 emissions from international
reduction potential in the                  50% and 250% by 2050, according to         aviation. This measure will require
shipping sector could make a                estimates by an International Maritime     airlines to offset the growth of their
significant contribution to global          Organization (IMO) study.                  CO2 emissions after 2020. In the first
efforts to fight climate change.                                                       phase, 65 countries will participate
                                            Decisive action to reverse this            on a voluntary basis. After 2027,
Maritime transport emits                    trend will allow the shipping sector       participation is mandatory, except
                    around 1000 million     to contribute to the global low-           for Least Developed Countries or
                    tonnes of CO2 annually  carbon transition – and reap the           countries with small aviation activities.
                    and is responsible for  benefits of further energy efficiency
about 2.5% of global greenhouse             improvements. At the same time,            Another major achievement last year
gas emissions, which is equivalent          maritime transport is currently the only   was the agreement on the global
to the annual emissions of Germany.         transport mode and economic sector         phase-down of climate-warming
Without mitigation measures, these          without a greenhouse gas emissions         hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These
                                            reduction objective.                       potent greenhouse gases were added
                                                                                       to the list of substances controlled
                                            ACCELERATING THE LOW-CARBON                under the Montreal Protocol, the
                                            TRANSITION                                 successful international treaty
                                            The historic Paris Agreement               designed to protect the ozone layer.
                                            concluded in 2015 sets out a global        The phase-down of HFCs could
                                            action plan to put the world on track      save around 80 Gigatonnes of CO2
                                            to avoid dangerous climate change by       equivalent by 2050 and make a
                                            limiting global warming to well below      significant contribution to fighting
                                            2°C, and to pursue efforts to limit the    climate change.
                                            increase to 1.5°C.
                                                                                       FURTHER ACTION NEEDED TO CUT
                                            As part of its contribution to the Paris   SHIPPING EMISSIONS
                                            Agreement, the EU committed to             While other sectors are making
                                            further reduce its greenhouse gas          headway on tackling their emissions,
                                            emissions, by at least 40% below 1990      the maritime transport sector does not
                                            levels by 2030. Sectors covered by the     yet have a greenhouse gas emissions
                                            EU emissions trading system (ETS),         reduction objective. This cannot be
                                            such as electricity and heat production,   considered as fair. It also undermines
                                            industry and intra-EU aviation, will have  the efforts of other sectors towards the
                                            to cut emissions by 43% compared           “well below 2°C” objective of the Paris
                                            to 2005. Other sectors, including          Agreement.
                                            road transport, will need to cut
                                            emissions by 30% compared to 2005.         Some progress has already been made
                                            This commitment is currently being         to address emissions from shipping.
                                            translated into legislation.               The UN body in charge of maritime
                                                                                       transport, the International Maritime
                                            After the Paris Agreement,                 Organization (IMO), started working
                                            sectors outside the UN climate             on the reduction of greenhouse gas
                                            negotiations followed suit. Last           emissions in 1997. In 2011, it adopted
                                            year, the International Civil Aviation     a mandatory minimum efficiency
                                            Organisation (ICAO) agreed to              standard for new ships (Energy
                                            establish a global scheme to stabilise     Efficiency Design Index, EEDI) and the

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