Friday , 24 January 2020
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IMO delays action on carbon reduction

Environmental campaigners have criticised International Maritime Organisation (IMO) member states for failing to agree a work plan to establish carbon dioxide reductions.

The proposed carbon reduction plan was discussed by members of the IMO’s marine environment protection committee in London in April.

The proposal aimed to develop a ‘fair share’ contribution to the Paris agreement’s goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5/2C.​

In a statement, Transport and Environment (T&E) said: “Governments…were unable to even agree on a work plan to develop a ‘fair share’ contribution to the goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5℃/2℃.”

“The IMO was hopelessly split in a divisive debate with most of the so-called BRICS countries [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] opposing the call from the Pacific Island nations, developed countries and much of the industry to develop a post-Paris work plan on what emissions cuts would be needed.”

According to T&E, the IMO’s new secretary general Ki-Tack Lim was forced to intervene, warning that the breakdown of discussions would mean the IMO would be “held up to ridicule on the very day the Paris agreement was being signed in New York.”

John Maggs, senior policy advisor at NGO Seas at Risk, said: “Despite a large majority of member states and industry supporting action, the IMO proved unable to translate this into progress, instead allowing itself to be held hostage by a handful of BRICS and the maverick and increasingly isolated Cook Islands.”

The ICS was less pessimistic, saying that its “radical” proposal “was well received by a number of IMO member states and will be taken forward to the October meeting with other submissions made by governments and others with respect to how IMO should respond to the Paris agreement”.

Environmental campaign groups like T&E had previously argued forcefully that shipping should be included in the December 2015 Paris agreement. The ICS, on the other hand, argued successfully that it should be left out of the deal, as the IMO was the right place to make changes from.