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  ICS accepts UN climate finance report
11/11/2010

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has given a cautious welcome to recommendations applicable to international maritime transport made by a United Nations expert group on climate change financing, the association says in a press release. The report was published on 5 November in advance of the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP 16) which will meet in Mexico in December. The High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing was established by the UN Secretary General to work around the goal - agreed by developed nations at the Copenhagen Conference in December 2009 - to mobilize funds of US$ 100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries. Much of this finance is to be raised from the private sector. The Group has chaired by the Prime Ministers of Norway and Ethiopia.
“We are pleased that the report acknowledges the complexities of bringing shipping into any funding mechanism that might be developed by the UNFCCC.” said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe. ICS is the principal international trade association for shipowners, representing all sectors and trades and nearly 80 per cent of the world merchant fleet.
Most importantly, the UN report recognises that the UNFCCC principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibility must be reconciled with the need for any market based emission reduction measures adopted to apply equally to all ships globally.
“It is very positive that the report recognises that the most appropriate forum for reconciling these objectives will be the International Maritime Organization” said Peter Hinchliffe. “Any system of financing that only applied to ships registered in richer nations would result in gross market distortions and the hemorrhaging of vast amounts of tonnage from OECD countries to the flags of those nations not affected.”
In an important submission to the UN Advisory Group, made in September, ICS argued that delivery of significant emissions reduction by the international maritime transport sector would require that any measures adopted are applied on a uniform and global basis in order to avoid “carbon leakage”. ICS explained that only about 35% of the world fleet is registered with richer Kyoto Protocol Annex I nations, and that most shipping companies have the freedom to decide to register their ships with the nations of their choice, including non-Annex I countries. Encouragingly, the report appears to recognise that measures to deliver meaningful global emission reductions by maritime transport will be far more likely to be achieved if adopted by governments at IMO, so that they can be applied to the entire world fleet on a global basis.
Mr Hinchliffe added:
”The report does contain a number of points relevant to shipping about which ICS has questions, such as the suggestion that not all of the money that might be raised through Market Based Measures would be used to support environmental projects. However, ICS believes it should be possible to address these points through proper debate at IMO.”
There is widespread consensus amongst the international shipping industry - as well as the majority of the worlds transport ministries - that the most effective means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from ships will be for the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, in December 2010, to give IMO a clear mandate to finalise and implement the comprehensive package of technical and economic measures which has already been developed by its Marine Environment Protection Committee which last met in September, and meets again next summer.
ICS will be reiterating these points at the UNFCCC Conference in Mexico where it will be representing the views of the global shipping industry.

 
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