The Malta Independent 14 October 2019, Monday

International effort required to control shipping emissions - Miriam Dalli

Saturday, 13 February 2016, 13:37 Last update: about 5 years ago

During a Brussels conference organized by the European Parliament and the Transport and Environment network entitled ‘Sink or Swim’, Maltese MEP Miriam Dalli called for a global mechanism to control shipping emissions so that such mechanism would apply to all ports in the same manner.

While vehicle emissions have over the last decade become a major source of concern and action, the same is not necessarily happening to other transport sources like ships and airplanes. Maritime and aviation emissions did not form part of the agreement reached by UN member countries at the Paris COP21, last December.

During the conference, which focused specifically on maritime transport, MEP Miriam Dalli stated that, “if we do not act now, emissions are expected to more than double by 2050. Unfortunately, even after having unanimously agreed on a new, global climate treaty in Paris, the issue of greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector remains a matter of dispute.” At the moment the amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) released by ships worldwide is about a billion tons a year.

The Maltese MEP underlined further that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) needs to play a pivotal role by regulating emissions from international shipping. “Acting globally would take away fear of losing the sector’s competitiveness or of losing the competitiveness of certain regions or ports, particularly European ports in the Mediterranean, including the Maltese ports, and the fear of de-flagging.”

Dr Dalli suggested that future policies need to factor in emission contributors also in view of the EU 2030 climate targets. “Our task should be to develop mitigation targets for the maritime sector compatible with staying below the 2 degrees objective. We need and we want a more effective and universal solution. That is, the establishment of a reduction target for shipping emission which at the end of the day results in having in place a reliable, global system.”

Miriam Dalli emphasised that there are commercial advantages in cutting emissions, which can be an additional advantage for all involved. “There is considerable potential of reducing emissions in the shipping sector through fuel saving techniques whilst making our utmost to significantly reduce ship running costs. I do understand that not all solutions can be applied to all types of ships but I believe that if we discuss together then we can come up with solutions which can be of benefit to all”.

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