A new report released by Transport & Environment (T&E) has ranked the climate ambitions of EU member states in efforts to decarbonise their shipping sectors.
The report shows that the climate ambitions of EU member states vary significantly, which could pose challenges ahead of a vote on the International Maritime Organization’s Initial Greenhouse Gas Strategy, expected to be adopted in April.
Generally, the findings of the report indicate that northern EU member states have shown far more ambition in tackling climate change in the shipping sector, while southern and eastern states have generally demonstrated much lower ambition; however, the report also highlights that Spain is a notable exception to this conclusion.
Which countries are the worst performers?
The five countries which demonstrated the least ambition in tackling climate change in shipping were:
- Portugal; and
According to the report, this is of particular concern as Malta, Greece and Cyprus are the EU’s three biggest shipping registries, and yet all were judged to have almost no climate ambition by the T&E report.
On the other hand, the climate ambitions of EU member states such as Germany, Belgium and France were ranked positively, and countries including the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK and Denmark were judged to be suitably ambitious in tackling climate concerns.
What does the IMO need to do?
Globally, ships emit 3% of total CO2 emissions, and this figure is increasing each year. Despite this, shipping remains one of the few sectors in the global economy which does not yet have emissions reduction targets, something which has become a priority area for the IMO to address.
Faig Abbasov, shipping officer with T&E, insisted that the adoption of the IMO Initial Greenhouse Gas Strategy is an urgent measure that will prove necessary to catalyse better practices in global shipping and combat climate change.
He said: “April is the last chance saloon for the shipping industry, the major flag states and the IMO to get their act together. Shipping can no longer free-ride on the efforts of other sectors. This is a wake-up call for the EU. Either EU governments, especially those with big shipping industries, get serious about delivering a good outcome at IMO, or they will have to accept solutions outside the IMO.”