Norway’s Government & Shipowners Association Want Global Shipping Emissions To Be Halved By 2050

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

The government of Norway and the country’s shipowners’ association have revealed their preference for global shipping related greenhouse gas emissions goals to target a figure of 50% by 2050, the two entities have revealed ahead of talks next week in London.

With talks led by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) slated to begin next week, Norway’s shipping lobby is pushing for a goal of reducing global shipping emissions by (only?) 50% by 2050. As Norway’s shipping fleet is effectively the fifth largest in the world, this is notable.

Ahead of that oil-producing country when it comes to shipping fleets are Japan, Greece, China, and the USA. Notably, the shipping fleets of the countries just noted vary a fair bit with regard to what’s being shipped. Norway, for instance, tends to ship proportionally high quantities of fossil fuels and associated chemicals.

As it stands, if the IMO is to be believed, the international shipping industry represents around 2.2% of global carbon dioxide emissions. In relation to the situation in the industry, the IMO is slated to hold the aforementioned tasks in London from April 9th through the 13th, with the aim being to develop plans for reducing emissions.

Commenting on their preferences, the head of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association Harald Solberg was recently quoted as saying: “Emissions should be reduced by 50% towards 2050 compared to 2008…In the same period demand will increase by maybe 60%, so in absolute terms it’s more than a half.”

Norway’s Trade Minister Torbjoern Rooe Isaksen commented as well (in an interview with Reuters): “We need international rules…our base line is the same as the Norwegian Shipowners (to cut emissions by 50% towards 2050). We hope the IMO will agree on these ambitious emission targets. That is the only solution, if not we fear regional solutions, and that will not work.”

The Reuters coverage continues: “He said that the association’s vision is that shipping should be emissions free in 2100. The IMO says its Marine Environment Protection Committee is expected ‘to adopt an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships’ at the meeting in London.”

Noteworthy here is the fact that the Paris Climate Agreement never made any attempt to deal with the complicated issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping sector.

While the Paris Climate Agreement was of course mostly a toothless PR spectacle, it’s still notable that it didn’t even broach the subject because of the complications inherent in doing so.

As it stands, the world is on track to not even come close to meeting the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting average global temperature rise by 2100 to under 2° Celsius. At current trajectories that figure will be greatly exceeded.