The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has called on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to set carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards for the entire shipping industry, not just for individual ships.
ICS have also stated IMO should also agree to a mechanism for delivering the emission objectives by 2023. IMO could potentially choose a bunker fuel levy for the shipping industry as a market-based measure.
ICS also believes that if IMO fails to make significant progress, the shipping industry could be vulnerable to regional action, including the European Union’s (EU) proposal to include shipping into the EU Emissions Trading System.
Countries such as Canada and the US have already introduced carbon pricing on shipping.
International Chamber of Shipping chairman Esben Poulsson said: “We are confident IMO can adopt an ambitious strategy by 2018 matching the spirit of the Paris Agreement.
“However, IMO needs to agree a baseline year for peak CO2 emissions from shipping, as well as setting out some serious long-term aspirations for dramatically cutting the sector’s total CO2 by the middle of the century.
“Ambitious CO2 reduction objectives will only be achievable with alternative marine fuels which do not yet exist, although we are very confident that they will be available in the not too distant future."
The shipping sector's total CO2 has already been reduced by more than 10% between 2007 and 2012 according to ICS estimates, though it has been warned that more drastic reductions will be difficult to achieve in the immediate future until alternative marine fuels become widely available.
ICS has also urged IMO to consider the concerns of developing nations before finalising any CO2 reduction goals.