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February 2010 SHIPS AND SHIPPING
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Global shipping organisations and
associations expressed disappointment
at the end of the 2009 United Nations
Climate Change Conference, which
included the 15th Conference of the
Parties (COP15) to the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change.
The summit was held in Copenhagen,
Denmark, from December 7 to 18, 2009.
With issues still largely unresolved, IMO
Secretary-General Efthimios E Mitropolous
said: "Like many others who have made
comments on the outcome of COP15, I
have viewed the end result with mixed
feelings: with concern that the target
initially pursed...of a legally binding
instrument was not achieved; with
measured satisfaction that, through the
Accord tabled at the end of the
deliberations, a step in the right direction
was taken enabling progress to be made
towards a legally binding instrument; and
with hope that, following new rounds of
consultations to be held post-Copenhagen,
the required consensus on action needed to
be taken to save this planet will be reached
at the next conference."
The Copenhagen Accord is a non-
legally binding document which the US,
China, India, Brazil and South Africa
drafted on December 18 following
protracted negotiations and debates. The
countries are not committed to agreeing
on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol,
which expires in 2012.
The International Chamber of
Shipping (ICS) similarly expressed its
disappointment at the lack of progress.
"The Accord is silent on the treatment
of international shipping in the delivery
of further carbon emission reductions, to
which the industry remains firmly
committed," said a statement issued by
The United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) was unable to agree on a clear
mandate for the industry's regulator, the
United Nation's International Maritime
Organisation (IMO), on how to build
upon the IMO's work to produce a
package of technical, operational and
economic measures for reducing
shipping's emissions on a global basis.
In particular, the Accord remains unclear
how the Kyoto Protocol principle of
Common But Differentiated Responsibility
(CBDR) should be reconciled with
the important need for global rules on
carbon dioxide reductions for the carriage
of world trade.
The ICS said that the shipping industry
was still committed to helping the IMO
develop a global solution for shipping on
carbon dioxide emissions.
"It is vital for all governments to
understand that, in the absence of
a global package agreed by IMO, there
is a serious risk that some countries
will develop unilateral measures to
regulate at national or regional level, the
carbon dioxide emissions of ships
"Such unilateral measures would likely
result in serious market distortions and
-- most importantly -- be far less effective
in ensuring the reduction of carbon
dioxide emissions by the global shipping
sector as a whole."
Mr Mitropolous said that the outcome
of the COP 15 would give the shipping
industry more time to make progress.
"Notwithstanding the outcome of
COP15, the international maritime
community stands ready to build on the
momentum created in Copenhagen by
contributing further to the attainment of
the objectives set through the 2005 IMO
Action Plan, namely the putting in place
of a comprehensive regulatory regime
aimed at limiting or reducing greenhouse
gas emissions from ships."
COP 15 disappointment: Shipping industry expresses "mixed feelings"
Antarctic Treaty Parties are to work with the International
Maritime Organisation (IMO) to introduce a mandatory code
for ships operating in Antarctic waters aimed at preventing
oil spills and shipping accidents.
The 90 participants in the Antarctic Treaty Meeting of Experts on
the Management of Ship-Borne Tourism held in New Zealand in
December expressed strong support for the code, which would apply
to all vessels entering Antarctica, not just those from treaty countries.
The code is expected to call for all vessels to be
ice-strengthened and to prohibit the use of heavy fuel oil. The
costs of a change to lighter fuel oils, that evaporate more easily in
cold conditions, could effectively prevent large cruise ships from
entering the Antarctic tourist market.
The support for a mandatory code is based on concerns that
the remoteness of Antarctica would make search and rescue
operations and the clean up of oil spills very difficult.
The experts will now report to the Antarctic Treaty's decision-
making body at the 33rd Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in
Uruguay in May 2010. While the new rules are aimed predominately
at the passenger ship trade, they may also prevent some vessels in
the Japanese whaling fleet from entering Antarctic waters.
Mandatory code a step closer for Antarctica
An IMO mandatory code for Antarctica could have broad implications
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