Reducing CO2 emissions to zero: ICS publishes new insight

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

03 July 2018


The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched a new publication to endorse the recent adoption by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) of its ambitious strategy for phasing-out CO2 emissions from the international shipping sector – a historic agreement which the global industry, as represented by ICS, fully supports.

“Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero” explains what the high levels of ambition agreed by IMO Member States could mean for international shipping. These targets include an efficiency improvement of least 40% - as an average across – the fleet compared to 2008, and a 50% cut of the sector’s total greenhouse emissions by 2050, regardless of future trade growth.

The publication also explores possibilities for the development of zero CO2 fuels that will almost certainly be required if a 50% total cut in GHG emissions is going to be delivered before 2050, as well as investigating policy options for short and medium term regulatory measures.

“Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero” sets out ICS’s firm opposition to the concept of mandatory operational efficiency indexing of individual ships as a possible candidate measure for CO2 reduction, which ICS argues would lead to serious market distortion.

ICS also explains why the European Union needs to align its regional system for collecting CO2 data from ships with the global system that has been established by IMO.

In the introduction, ICS Chairman Esben Poulsson explains: “We now expect discussions at IMO to begin in earnest on the development of additional CO2 reduction measures, including those to be implemented before 2023. ICS will continue to participate constructively.”

Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero” can be downloaded free of charge from the ICS website.

The Initial Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships was adopted by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee in April 2018. The next round of IMO discussions on additional CO2 reduction measures will take place in October.