Over 30 nations sign carbon emissions declaration

Over 30 nations sign carbon emissions declaration
The declaration aims to limit global temperature rises. Credit: shutterstock/Alexei Novikov

Thirty-four countries have signed a declaration which calls for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to adopt an emissions reduction strategy.

The ‘Tony De Brum declaration” was signed in Paris yesterday and calls for an initial strategy to be published next year and a revised strategy by 2023.

The declaration stated that the “strategy must not compromise the achievement of climate objectives by
creating distortions of competition; therefore its provisions should equally apply to all ships
regardless of their flag.”

It also said that the impacts of emissions reductions measures on specific states should be measured and addressed, particularly for poorer countries and small islands.

Signatories to the declaration came mainly from Europe but also included Chile, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Madagascar and several small island states. Among the prominent non-signatories are the USA, Australia and every Asian and mainland African country.

“This is a welcome commitment to deliver an ambitious climate deal for the shipping sector, and it’s significant that EU member states have been joined by Chile, Mexico and others to signal the importance of getting next year’s IMO carbon cutting agreement right” said John Maggs of Seas At Risk.

He continued: “As the declaration makes clear, time is running out for the IMO and the shipping industry to deliver a fair contribution to tackling the climate crisis. A 2018 deal in line with limiting warming to below 1.5C requires a strong long term decarbonisation goal and short-term measures, like speed reduction, that will result in immediate emissions reductions.”

The IMO’s climate talks will resume in April, when a deal on an initial Comprehensive IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships is due to be agreed.

The One Planet Summit was convened in Paris by President Macron on the second anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Several stakeholders participated, and climate transition projects were showcased.