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The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has called for a strategy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions as the UN chief urges shipping to go carbon neutral by 2050.
Speaking at the 80th Marine Environment Protection Committee session, Guterres emphasized the importance of setting science-based targets for reducing emissions and transitioning to clean fuels. The shipping industry currently accounts for nearly 3 percent of global emissions, making it crucial to address its environmental impact.
The ongoing session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee aims to reach a consensus among the 175-member states regarding a carbon-neutral goal by 2050.
This goal would be accompanied by interim targets to be achieved by 2030 and 2040. The committee is hopeful that this meeting will pave the way for a cleaner and safer future for the shipping industry and humanity.
The Inter-sessional Working Group’s failure to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions from ships, which met from June 26 to 30, to achieve significant goals has further emphasized the need for immediate action.
Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, expressed his concerns about the goals. He highlighted that a low-ambition pathway chosen by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) could compromise the capability to meet the purposes outlined in the Paris Agreement.
During the ongoing critical meeting, the IMO aims to achieve groundbreaking results. However, discussions on implementing a financial levy on greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry have faced challenges and made little progress. Member states of the IMO have differing opinions regarding targets and the proposed financial levy, further complicating the negotiations.
Countries such as the USA, UK, and Canada are advocating for substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2023 and 2040, ultimately achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 in alignment with the IPCC trajectory. Meanwhile, the European Union has proposed a 29 percent reduction by 2030 and an 83 percent reduction by 2040.
India, on the other hand, has not committed to any specific targets. While India’s official goal for achieving net-zero carbon emissions is set for 2070, the country has been chosen by the IMO to launch a pilot project called Green Voyage. This initiative aims to promote green shipping and contribute to sustainable practices within the industry.
In conclusion, as the UN chief urges shipping to go carbon neutral by 2050, it highlights the urgency of reducing emissions. As the discussions at the Marine Environment Protection Committee continue, it is essential for member states to work towards a consensus on carbon-neutral goals and establish a roadmap for achieving them. The fate of our planet depends on the collective effort to address climate change, and the shipping industry has a crucial role in creating a sustainable future.