The Freight Transport Association has told the government that maritime emissions reductions should be tackled at a global level through the International Maritime Organisation, rather than at a national or regional level – otherwise the UK’s competitiveness could be damaged.
The Committee on Climate Change which advises the UK government is recommending that international shipping should be included in UK carbon emission targets for 2050.
“We support in principle the inclusion of shipping emissions into the Climate Change Act,” said Chris Welsh, FTA’s general manager of global and European policy.
“But shipping is a global industry and we must avoid taking on the burden of reducing emissions alone or else we will be put on an uneven footing with the rest of the world. This would be bad news for the UK economy and could ultimately mean that less environmentally efficient countries take business away from the UK, thereby making emission levels worse.
The FTA pointed out that shipping carries around 80 per cent of all world trade in volume, but makes up just 2.7 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“We need to ensure that the approach taken to reduce shipping emissions is done at a global level rather than simply trying to solve the problem by introducing emission reductions piecemeal and region-by-region,” said Welsh.