Home » Reducing CO2 is economic “no brainer” for Shipowners, ICS tells UN Climate Change Conference

Reducing CO2 is economic “no brainer” for Shipowners, ICS tells UN Climate Change Conference

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Simon Bennett

Simon Bennett

Today, at the United Nations (UNFCCC) Climate Change Conference in Warsaw
(COP 19), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) will advise a United
Nations event on the economics of mitigation that reducing CO2 emissions is
an economic ‘no brainer’ for the global shipping industry.  Further efforts
by industry to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions from ships –
which carry about 90% of global trade – is already a matter of enlightened
self interest.

ICS, which is the principal international trade association for shipowners,
will explain that fuel is the shipping industry’s largest variable operating
cost.  In the last 5 years alone, fuel prices have increased by about 300%,
and are expected to increase by a further 50%-100% due to the imminent
switch to low sulphur fuel, soon to be required for most ships by separate
International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules.

“The fuel costs for a typical ship carrying iron ore are already about US$3
million a year.  For the latest generation of mega containerships they could
be as much $30 million a year” said ICS Director External Relations, Simon
Bennett.  “The high cost of fuel means that market forces are already
providing shipowners with every incentive they need to continue improving
their fuel efficiency and reduce their CO2 emissions.  Otherwise shipping
companies will simply not survive.”

With the full support of the shipping industry, the worldwide entry into
force in January 2013 of amendments to the IMO MARPOL Convention makes
shipping the first industrial sector to have a binding global regime in
place to reduce CO2 emissions.

“In addition to the new IMO regulations to improve the efficiency of new
ship designs, the mandatory application of Ship Energy Efficiency Management
Plans is now giving additional impetus to fuel efficiency measures that are
already being taken by much of the industry.” said Mr Bennett.  This
includes measures such as operating ships at slower speeds, and adjusting
trim (the balance of weight which affects how ships move through water).

The shipping industry remains committed to working with governments at IMO
to help deliver further measures to improve fuel efficiency from ships.  The
immediate focus at IMO, pending the conclusion of a replacement to the Kyoto
Protocol in 2015, is the development of a mandatory system for the
monitoring and reporting of the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by every
individual ship in the commercial world fleet.  This is fully supported by
the industry and is something on which ICS is about to make a detailed
submission to IMO with respect to a possible way forward that might be
acceptable to all nations in both developed and emerging economies.

.       Additional Information about ‘Shipping, World Trade, and the
Reduction of CO2 Emissions’ can be found at
.       IMO requirements which mean most ships will switch to low sulphur
distillate fuel from less expensive residual fuel are being phased in
between now and 2020
.       The UN Event within COP 19, at which ICS is speaking, is today Monday
18 November at 1645 see http://www.ics-shipping.org/news/events

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