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jueves, 14 de octubre de 2010

Shipping Industry Reluctant to Efficiency Standards

Source: Softpedia
According to experts, it may be that countries which have important maritime shipping capabilities could lose control over their own emission standards, if they don't take action to regulate them soon.

Officials with the United Nations decided a while back that the maritime and aviation shipping sectors needed to create their own limits to the amount of emissions they put into the atmosphere every year.

Given that the actors involved in this process show little interest in doing so, they may be losing their chance to make things work for them.

“Like the aviation industry, the world’s maritime nations either need to find an emissions reductions solution within the IMO framework or face the possibility of less sympathetic regulation from elsewhere,” explains Dr Simon Walmsley.

He was an World Wildlife Fund (WWF) observer to the recent talks held at the UN-linked International Maritime Organization (IMO). The group is responsible for keeping an eye on maritime shipping.

Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreements, both sectors need to come up with regulations to control their own emissions. If they refuse, then regulation can be imposed to them from other entities.

“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,” the observer explained.

Shipping nations had the opportunity to agree on a set of regulations this march, at the last meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (IMO MEPC).

Several norms and efficiency measures were proposed, including a mandatory energy efficiency design index (EEDI) and a ships energy efficiency management plan (SEEMP).

But a meeting that took place throughout last week came to no clear decision as to which of the measures, if any, to apply.

The issue with these refusals is that other UNFCCC commissions may discriminate against developed states, making concessions to developing states.

But “drawing such distinctions between developing and developed countries in shipping is not that simple,” Dr Walmsley explains.

“Shipping owners may be from a developed country, but their ships could be built, flagged and crewed in developing countries,” he adds.

“Shipping states can either find creative ways to slash emissions together or see additional costs imposed on world trade as some trading blocks, states or even just ports bring shipping into their own regional schemes for reducing greenhouse gases,” the WWF expert concludes.

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