The merchant marine will finally limit its greenhouse gas emissions

NAVY. Late Friday night, in London, the 173 representatives of the member states of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed on targets for limiting greenhouse gases after two years. weeks of bitter negotiations. Emissions from the sector are expected to have halved by 2050 compared to 2008. Today, merchant shipping, which handles 80% of international trade, is responsible for 2.2% of global emissions. According to the UN climate convention, this share could increase by 50 to 250% by 2050 to reach 17% if nothing is done. The agreement states that emissions from the sector will have to start declining "as soon as possible". Environmental NGOs involved in the fight against global warming welcomed the initiative while stressing that the effort is not enough to keep global temperatures below 2 ° C of rise

Techniques exist for clean boats

PAVILIONS. The agreement was particularly difficult to obtain. While the European Union, Australia and the Marshall Islands pleaded for a total elimination of emissions mid-century, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Brazil opposed any binding goal. Halving emissions is therefore a compromise. The position of the Marshall Islands has been dominant. This small archipelago threatened by rising sea levels is indeed the third flag of the international merchant marine behind Panama and Liberia. However, in 2017, the declaration of Tony de Brum, Marshall Islands climate ambassador (who has since died) gave priority to climate action over the revenues brought by the registration of boats. If this sector is the last to give itself reduction targets under the Paris Agreement, it is precisely because IMO member countries have a different weight according to the number of ships registered under their flags. The NGO Transparency International has denounced the stranglehold of these states who live from the sale of their flag to the international fleet and have no interest in binding rules that hinder the development of transport

The agreement has an immediate technical consequence. From 2030, new ships will no longer emit CO 2 . The sector is already working on technical solutions to improve the energy efficiency of ships and reduce pollution in ports. The "Global Partnership for Maritime Energy Efficiency" supports and federates all the research on biofuels, the efficiency of the engines, the shape of the hulls, the contributions of renewable energies like the addition of sails etc. The development of these techniques can already ensure a clean fleet without emissions by 2035, also ensures a recent report of the OECD . The London agreement will accelerate this change.

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