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jueves, 7 de octubre de 2010

IMO fails to reach consensus on emissions cut plans

Source: Reuters
(Reuters) - The International Maritime Organization (IMO) failed to reach agreement on proposals to cut carbon emissions from new ships, delegates said on Friday, adding that further talks would be held in March.

The shipping sector accounts for nearly 3 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Shipping is not covered by the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol and a new global climate treaty is still under debate, meaning the industry does not currently have any mandatory emissions laws.

As this week's IMO marine environment protection committee meeting drew to a close on Friday, delegates said there was little consensus on proposals for technical and operational measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

The committee will hold another meeting from March 28 to April 1 next year to discuss a market-based mechanism for lowering emissions.

"Progress is slow but I would absolutely reject that the shipping industry is not taking this seriously," John Aitken, secretary general of industry group SEAaT, whose members include BP's and Royal Dutch Shell's shipping units, told Reuters.

Talks this week have focused on a proposal for an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) to make new vessels environmentally friendly -- put forward by Japan, Norway and the United States -- as well as a mandatory market-based mechanism.

"The worst outcome for a global industry like shipping would be to have differing emissions reductions schemes being imposed in different places - but that is the future shipping nations are courting by failing to reach agreement in their own forum," said Simon Walmsley, marine manager at environmental group WWF.

The meeting exposed rifts between developed and developing countries, with some refusing to acknowledge that shipping should have mandatory measures to reduce global emissions.

However, the fact that governments and industry delegates were debating the proposals and not dismissing them was seen as a good sign.

"Governments have given a promising signal this week that they're beginning to take the shipping industry's important role in tackling climate change seriously," said Tim Gore, Oxfam's EU climate change policy adviser.

(Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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