Norway targets IMO to halve global shipping emissions by 2050

Norway’s fleet is worth about US$45 billion. (Reuters pic)

OSLO: Global shipping should set a goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Norway’s government and shipowners’ association said on Thursday before talks by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London next week.

Norway’s fleet is worth about US$45 billion (RM174 billion), the fifth-most valuable in the world behind Japan, Greece, China, and the United States. Norway’s shipping includes gas, chemicals, car vessels, dry bulk, crude oil, crude oil products, and containers.

The IMO, which says international shipping represents about 2.2% of world carbon dioxide emissions, will meet from April 9-13 to develop a strategy to combat climate change. Shipping was not included in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Emissions should be reduced by 50% towards 2050 compared to 2008,” Harald Solberg, head of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, told a joint news conference with Trade Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

“In the same period demand will increase by maybe 60%, so in absolute terms it’s more than a half,” Solberg said.

“We need international rules … our baseline is the same as the Norwegian Shipowners (to cut emissions by 50% towards 2050),” Isaksen said.

“We hope the IMO will agree on these ambitious emission targets. That is the only solution, if not we fear regional solutions, and that will not work,” Solberg said.

He said that the association’s vision is that shipping should be emissions-free in 2100.

The IMO says its Marine Environment Protection Committee is expected “to adopt an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships” at the meeting in London.

The Paris Agreement sets a goal of phasing out net greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the century, mainly by shifting from fossil fuels to cleaner energies such as solar and wind power.