BERLIN (AP) – A major group in the shipping industry said on Tuesday that its members will target ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050, following a commitment to the same target by the global shipping industry air a day earlier.
The current target set by the International Maritime Organization, a United Nations body, is to reduce emissions from international shipping by 50% by 2050. The International Chamber of Shipping said it has submitted a proposal to the United Nations. ‘UN for industry to stop adding CO2 to the atmosphere by mid-century.
“Talking is cheap and acting is difficult,” International Chamber of Shipping President Esben Poulsson said in a statement, adding that the group’s proposal “defines the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’ to decarbonise maritime transport by 2050 “.
“A net zero carbon ambition is achievable by 2050,” said Poulsson. “But only on condition that governments make the inglorious but urgent decisions necessary to manage this process within a global regulatory framework.”
The annual UN climate change conference begins October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland. The ICS had previously called for a global surtax on carbon emissions from shipping to help finance the sector’s transition to climate-friendly fuels.
Environmental activists greeted Tuesday’s announcement with caution, but noted that the proposal only covers carbon dioxide, not other greenhouse gas emissions.
Like the airline industry, which this week declared a goal of zero net carbon emissions within 30 years, shipping companies are betting heavily on the idea that any remaining carbon emissions by now 2050 could be “offset” by natural or artificial means of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
“Real progress will come when they back the ambitious carbon price that island nations have already proposed and ensure that shipping emissions begin immediately on a downward trajectory,” said Aoife O’Leary, director of global transportation at the ‘Environmental Defense Fund.
“To respond to the pace of climate action demanded by science, we must hold the shipping industry accountable for real and short-term progress towards decarbonization,” she said.
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