ICS says IMO CO2 levy on fuels could help ports cope with climate change

Money from a proposed IMO environmental compensation fund could be used to help ports adapt to the effects of rising sea levels as a result of climate change. The proposal was made by Simon Bennett, Director of External Relations of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS),  at a UNCTAD (United Nations Committee on Trade and Development) meeting held in Geneva last month.

The environmental compensation fund, also referred to as the "market based mechanism," would be financed with payments from the shipping industry linked to fuel consumption. The ICS, whose member national shipowners' associations represent more than 80 percent of the world merchant fleet, says that the majority of the global shipping industry prefers the compensation fund to the alternative of emissions trading schemes which has also been proposed by some governments in discussions at the IMO.

ICS believes that any money raised from shipping through Market Based Measures for CO2 reduction should primarily be directed to projects which improve the environment in developing nations or which allow the shipping industry and developing nations to prepare for the effects of climate change, for example protecting ports. 

"Shipping fully accepts the need to play its part and- if governments so decide - participate in Market Based Measures" said Mr. Bennett. "But measures to reduce CO2 emissions should not be used to treat the shipping industry as a 'cash cow,' simply to boost the balance sheets of richer countries that are currently in economic difficulties."

October 4, 2011