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ICS calls on IMO to agree on CO2 monitoring

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the worldwide trade association for shipowners, is urging the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to develop a global regulation on CO2 monitoring before the European Union adopts what it calls “unilateral regional regulations.”

The ICS secretary general Peter Hinchliffe says that “the recent impasse at IMO on making further progress is due to difficulties unconnected with shipping and imported from the UNFCCC” (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

The ICS therefore suggests that IMO Member States should initially focus on developing regulations for the mandatory reporting of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by internationally trading ships, deferring further discussions on efficiency measures. Controversial measures under consideration include charging ships depending on how efficient they are.

The ICS defends the “three phase” approach, which has been proposed by the United States, whereby the IMO could make progress one step at a time.

If governments can agree to approach their work in distinct stages, IMO Member States can proceed towards the early adoption of mandatory CO2 monitoring and reporting measures that would be enforced worldwide, says the shipowners association.

ICS says that this could be done relatively quickly, and might be acceptable to those governments that may not yet be ready to commit to more radical CO2 reduction measures for shipping, such as efficiency indexing.

“IMO is now confronted by the danger of unilateral action by the European Union which is already considering a draft Regulation on monitoring and reporting of ships’ emissions which risks destroying the possibility of a global approach towards shipping and CO2,” Mr Hinchliffe warns.

The ICS says that if the EU measures on monitoring and reporting ships’ CO2 emissions are adopted in advance of IMO developing its own global measures, it may be impossible to have a global regime that will be compatible with the EU approach.

“We are a global industry requiring global rules,” says Mr Hinchliffe. “Otherwise we have chaos and inefficiency.”

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