United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a crucial plea on Monday, urging maritime nations to chart a clear path towards achieving net zero emissions in the shipping industry no later than 2050. Guterres made this appeal at the opening of a pivotal meeting of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London, recognising its significance in the collective effort to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Highlighting the substantial contribution of the shipping sector, which accounts for nearly 3 percent of global emissions, Guterres emphasised its vital role in addressing climate change. He called upon delegates to establish a comprehensive greenhouse gas strategy for shipping, encompassing ambitious science-based targets beginning in 2030. These targets should focus on absolute emissions reductions and the adoption of clean fuels.
While the IMO’s existing objective aims for a minimum 50 percent reduction in emissions from 2008 to 2050, Guterres advocated for a broader approach. He emphasised the inclusion of all greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the industry and proposed the implementation of a carbon price for shipping. The generated funds, according to campaigners, could aid developing nations in combating climate change, whereas the industry prefers directing the funds toward the development of clean technologies. This meeting holds immense significance in shaping the future trajectory of the shipping industry’s environmental impact.