29 November 2011

Africa: Shipping Emissions Must Be Curbed

Durban — Shipping emissions are rising high and fast and must be tackled immediately to have a chance of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, says Oxfam International Policy Advisor on climate change, Tim Gore.

Emissions from the shipping and aviation industries are still uncapped despite the fact that ships are already responsible for three percent of global emissions - more than Germany and twice that of Australia.

In an interview with BuaNews, Gore explained that a fair carbon charge applied to all ships could be used as an incentive to get the industry to reduce emissions. But just as importantly, the funds can then be filtered through to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) - therefore making this a double dividend for climate change.

It is envisaged that based on a moderate $25/ton carbon price, $25 billion per year by 2020 could be raised.

Gore said to ensure consistency with the UNFCCC principles like common but differentiated responsibilities, developing countries should be directly compensated from these revenues.

At least $10 billion per year from remaining revenues should be allocated to the GCF.

This option has received the backing of countries like France and Germany, Bill Gates, Kofi Annan and the report of the World Bank, IMF to the G20 and is up for discussion at COP17.

At the Durban talks, Oxfam, WWF and the International Chamber of Shipping will call on delegates to give the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) clear guidance on continuing its work on reducing shipping emissions.

"We welcome the constructive engagement of the shipping industry in the search for solution to the climate crisis. Industry and civil society actors agree that shipping emissions can be regulated in a way which is fair to developing countries and could help generate the resources they need to tackle climate change," said Gore.

International Chamber of Shipping Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe said: "If governments decide that shipping should contribute to the UNFCCC 'Green Climate Fund', the industry can probably support in principle as long as the details are agreed at the IMO, with the industry's clear preference for a market based mechanism being a compensation fund linked to the fuel consumption of ships, rather than an emissions trading scheme."

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