The International Maritime Organization will now have to turn its new targets for shipping’s carbon footprint into policy action to push the industry towards the new goals.
The Green Seas podcast has sought to flesh out the debates to come, which include decisions over revising short-term measures that were introduced this year and deciding midterm policy mechanisms, with both efforts targeted for adoption by 2026.
On the short-term measures, shipping stakeholders are focused on revision of the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), which entered force this year and grades ships based on their emissions per passenger or tonne of cargo and per nautical mile travelled.
Carnival Corp chief maritime officer William Burke, whose company is the world’s largest owner and operator of cruise ships, likes that the IMO resolution focuses on total or absolute greenhouse gas emissions, rather than carbon intensity.
And he said that under CII, shipping companies can take steps that improve carbon intensity but increase absolute emissions.
“There’s distance in the denominator, and so if you increase the distance, you’ll reduce your CII. But because you’re going further, you’re producing more absolute carbon,” he said.
He would like to see the regulation revised so it takes entire fleets into consideration, rather than individual vessels.
Global Maritime Forum chief executive Johannah Christensen said the organisation’s Getting to Zero Coalition sees a “sufficiently high” carbon price, one of the midterm measures under consideration, as a key way to boost green fuels adoption.
“Closing the … cost gap between the current technologies and fuels … that’s the clarity that the industry needs — that that exists, and that it’s a global price, that it’s a global mechanism that’s uniformly applied,” she said.
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