Cargo Ships must cut their Emissions in half by 2050

Cargo Ships must cut their Emissions in half by 2050

170 countries signed a deal to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases from the shipping industry.

Climate Change is arguably the most important issue humanity face today as it has the potential to destroy the planet and wipe away all signs of life. A lot of international forums acknowledge that and various policies are being made to control all forms of pollution as much as possible. International Maritime Organization (IMO) have decided to play their role in this cause. Representatives from 170 countries were gathered in London and discussions continued for two weeks in which several ways were debated to make this sector environment-friendly.

Some countries did oppose the recommendations but an international deal was finalized on 13th April according to which certain limits will be imposed on the emission of greenhouse gases from the ships.

The aim is to reduce shipping emissions at least 50% below 2008 levels by the mid of this century. A switch from fossil fuels is the first and foremost condition for achieving these results. That’s the reason this agreement states that most of the newly built ships will operate without fossil fuels by 2030s. The industrial ships cause pollution at quite a substantial scale. International shipping emissions account for 2-3% of global emissions and this is on a constant rise in the past few years.

A lot of experts are of the view that this figure can increase to 20% by 2050 if strict rules and regulations are not attached to it. The amount of Carbon Dioxide emitted by this industry is nearly equal to Germany’s annual emissions.

Thousands of cargo ships travel through oceans every year to transport products of all sizes. All these ships use heavy fuel whose combustion releases harmful chemicals alongside greenhouse gases that pollute our environment and have hazardous effects on humans. The agreement signed in London focuses primarily on all carbon-based emissions which means that shipping companies will have to look for alternative options of fuel. The designers of these companies will have to develop ships that are much more energy-efficient than the existing ones so that minimal fuel is needed.

As IMO has set themselves a deadline, they will need to balance innovation with time in order to ensure timely completion of their goals. James Corbett showed his concerns about that as he mentioned that IMO will have to give the shipping industry sufficient time to adapt new technologies yet they will have to meet the environmental deadline. He said,

Clearly the IMO is moving into the 21st century. The main issue that the IMO will continue to have to wrestle with is timing.”

According to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, IMO was given the responsibility to monitor and control the emissions from the shipping industry. As a result, this agreement has been appreciated by people from all around the globe. Dr. Tristan Smith, an expert of Shipping at the University of London, showed his delight in the following words,

The International Maritime Organization’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by 50 to 100 percent in 2050 is major progress. The world’s shipping industry has now, for the first time, defined its commitment to tackle climate change, bringing it closer in-line with the Paris agreement.”

A lot of people from the shipping industry are calling this deal ‘A Paris Agreement for Shipping’ as this sector was totally ignored in the original Paris Agreement. Climate activists hoped for a much stricter policy but they do realize that at least the direction is now clear as IMO wants to control carbon emissions.

The government of UK proposed that global shipping should stop using fossil fuels completely within the next three decades. The delegations of Pacific Island states were heavily in favor of this idea but those nations whose economy depends on this industry didn’t like this suggestion so some relaxation was given considering their point of view. The countries residing in the Pacific Islands are seriously threatened by the rising sea levels as their future is linked to it. David Paul, Environment Minister of Marshall Islands, explained their concerns in the following words,

“The next days in IMO will determine whether Marshallese children born today will have the chance of a secure and prosperous life or will have to leave the land of their ancestors and set sail across the oceans to an uncertain future.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *