Left unchecked the carbon emissions from international maritime shipping could increase by 250 per cent, according to Global Shippers’ Forum. The assessment by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is highlighted in the fourth edition of the GSF Maritime Emissions policy briefing which was launched this month. The policy briefing states that at present, carbon emissions from international maritime shipping make up 2.2 per cent of the global total, but left unchecked, could increase by as much as 250 per cent in the period to 2050.

The GSF briefing also examines the latest developments within maritime emission policy, and the sector’s role in reducing carbon emissions, all prepared with the perspective of the shipper in mind.

Participating in the Clean Cargo Working Group meeting in Rotterdam last week Chris Welsh, GSF Secretary General, highlighted the need for shippers’ views to be taken into account as the IMO takes steps to address how shipping can reduce emissions and the EU starts to look at the technical details of its proposed MRV regulation.  He said: “Shipping already offers a high carbon efficient mode for transporting goods, carrying approximately 90 per cent of all world trade.  However, it is predicted to grow significantly in pace with world trade and currently has no regulatory mechanism to restrain the future growth of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Welsh continued: “Shippers are under pressure to report emissions along the supply chain.  Shippers and carriers have, however, made considerable progress in moving forward in this area through voluntary schemes such as that developed by the Clean Cargo Working Group. GSF believes that the methodology developed by such groups for measuring, reporting and verifying carbon emissions should be used by the EU and IMO as a starting point for their regulatory initiatives.”

Welsh concluded: “The IMO is making useful progress towards solutions to reduce shipping emissions and within the last year GSF has taken steps to expand its influence at IMO.  We remain convinced that shippers can help influence the debate and ensure there is a cost-effective approach to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction.”