This week, delegates from 175 shipping nations will gather in London to discuss the schedule for fully decarbonizing their industry. The meeting will be under the control of the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
According to observers, the London meeting may be crucial for combating climate change since the Paris Agreement.
The shipping industry is facing increased pressure to cut emissions from smokestacks that contribute to global warming. Becoming the largest global industry, its annual CO2 production equals Germany’s.
Ships transport 90% of the goods and products in the world, which frequently burn highly polluting fuels. As much as 3% of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions come from the highly polluting fuels that these vessels frequently burn.
Experts warn that this could grow by as much as 50% by the middle of this century if stronger action isn’t taken. Unfortunately, the shipping industry only plans for halving emissions by the middle of the century. This, according to scientists, contradicts the Paris climate agreement.
Many parties want to push forward with plans for cleaner transport. For instance, campaigners seek tougher targets, half reduction by 2030, net-zero goal by 2050, or full decarbonization by 2040.
The world’s second largest container shipping line, Maersk, has set their own goal of zero emissions by 2040.
2023 will be “a year of decisive climate action,” according to IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, who urged delegates to find solutions last week.
Although the need for reform is acknowledged by the industry as a whole, some people worry that setting new goals will be too difficult and expensive.
However, according to recent research, cutting shipping emissions in half this decade would only result in a 10% increase in overall operating costs.