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United Nations agrees to halve shipping emissions by 2050

United Nations agrees to halve shipping emissions by 2050”

The deal, which was struck after intense negotiations at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), will force the industry to redesign its fleet and switch from using fossil fuels to running vessels on renewable energy.

The IMO strategy includes a target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions in shipping by 50% before 2050, and also suggests that wider steps be taken to facilitate the complete decarbonisation of shipping as a long term goal.

Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General of the ICS, said: "This is a ground breaking agreement - a Paris Agreement for shipping - that sets a very high level of ambition for the future reduction of Carbon dioxide emissions".

The compromise plan to halve shipping emissions by 2050 leaves the door open to deeper cuts in the future, placing a strong emphasis on scaling up action to 100% by mid-century.

Major shipping nations such as Saudi Arabia and the United States had objected to earlier drafts in two weeks of discussion at the 173-member organisation based in London.

Shipping now accounts for around 2.5 percent of global GHG emissions, but this is expected to rise steeply, so that by 2050 it will account for 16 percent of the total carbon budget agreed by the 2015 Paris climate deal, believed to be what's required to keep global temperature rises below 1.5C.

Commenting on the agreement, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim said the strategy "is designed as a strong statement addressed to the outside world and, as a platform, will pave the way forward for future work related to reduction of GHG emissions from ships".

"It is now crucial that effective reduction measures are swiftly adopted and put in place before 2023".

"We will work with fellow member states to ensure the shipping industry makes the transition to zero emissions ships as quickly as possible", she said. "It makes clear that the shipping industry and fuel supplier need to scale up investments in new technologies and their rapid deployment, including alternative fuels and propulsion systems", said Mark Lutes, senior global climate policy advisor, WWF.

The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) has welcomed the IMO agreement to cut carbon emissions 50% by 2050. "Without these, the goals of the Paris agreement will remain out of reach".

The initial strategy represents a framework for Member States, setting out the future vision for global shipping, the levels of ambition to reduce GHG emissions and guiding principles; and includes candidate short-, mid- and long-term further measures with possible timelines and their impacts on States.



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