IMO must act now to halve near-term shipping emissions, urge lobbyists

As delegates sipped their drinks to celebrate the first day of the Intersessional Working Group GHG meeting (ISWG15), also known as the technical climate negotiations for shipping industry on June 26, at the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) HQ in London, protestors from Ocean Rebellion were demonstrating outside, with a miniature model oil tanker belching black carbon fog of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and a flaming Molotov oil drum. Lobbyists also unfurled a banner which said “50% down by 2030=1.5 degrees”.

Ocean Rebellion, a global resource facilitating autonomous grassroots initiatives to protect, enhance and repair the high seas founded in August 2020, calls on IMO Member States to:

  • Follow the science and commit to halve ship emissions by 2030
  • Force ships to slow down to rapidly cut emissions
  • Prioritize wind power for ships, new and old
  • Speed up roll-out of new climate-friendly fuels
  • Steeply price the carbon in shipping fuels
  • Make sure no-one is left behind by helping countries in need

Ocean Rebellion also urges the UN to form a new, transparent, and representative body to govern the ocean for the benefit of all life. This new body must have the restoration and replenishment of the ocean as its only measure of success. It should replace corporate power with people power. And it should represent the many forms of marine life who actually make the ocean a home.

Chris Armstrong, University of Southampton says: “By dodging obvious reforms like slow sailing, wind, and less international commerce the IMO condemns the Paris Climate Agreement to death by a thousand meetings. We must cut shipping emissions now. Commitments to Net Zero by 2050 cannot be used as a corporate ruse to avoid taking urgent action.”

Clive Russell from Ocean Rebellion says: “This is an emergency.  Our greenhouse gas emissions are setting off a chain of events tipping our environment and societies towards climate chaos. Every moment we fail to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and commodities we threaten the resilience of nature. With every day we fail to act, we approach dangerous tipping points with cascading knock-on impacts. There’s no time to waste, we must act now.”

Photo credit: Gareth Morris

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