European carbon

Published at 11:05 16 Apr 2018 by

Last week saw the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announce an agreement to cut the global shipping sector's overall CO2 emissions by 50% on 2008 levels by 2050―below the 70% reduction sought by some members, including the EU. The main implication for the ETS is whether EU policymakers feel the IMO is going fast enough in introducing rules for emission reductions. If not, there is an outside chance that EU policymakers will call for shipping emissions in EU waters to be included in the ETS. The IMO agreement calls on the shipping sector to begin CO2 emissions reductions as soon as possible, to pursue efforts to phase out carbon emissions entirely, and bring shipping regulations in line with the Paris Agreement to limit the increase in global temperature to ‘well below’ 2° degrees Celsius. The initial strategy also includes some strengthening of the Energy Efficiency Design Index efficiency requirements for new ships, to help reduce shipping's carbon intensity (the amount of CO2 emitted for each tonne of cargo transported). While last week’s agreement creates goals for future action, it does not give a fixed timetable for rolling out legal restrictions on CO2 emissions. Rather, the IMO sees the agreement as a framework setting out target levels of ambition to reduce GHG emissions and guiding principles for developing policy. The IMO indicated that any legally binding goals to reduce emissions are unlikely before 2023, the timing of which follows an action roadmap previously agreed in 2016. The roadmap calls for the fourth and fifth round of IMO studies to be carried out during the 2019-2022 period before any regulations are created.

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