Industry-led summit to take action on shipping’s decarbonisation opportunity at UNFCCC COP23

08 October 2017

A group of international shipping industry leaders, including Lloyd's Register, will join forces at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November to drive industry ambition and action on exploiting opportunities presented by decarbonisation.

The need for shipping to contribute it’s ‘fair share’ of GHG reductions and to decarbonise quickly and deeply enough to meet the high ambition climate change target of limiting global temperatures to 1.5oC, as indicated in the Paris Agreement, has catalysed the need for a business-focused approach that pushes ahead of regulatory mechanisms.
Although shipping was omitted from the Paris Agreement, developed during COP21 at UNFCCC in 2015, momentum and regulatory action around shipping’s GHG contributions has been provoked within the Marine Environmental Protection Committee meetings of shipping’s regulatory body the International Maritime Organization (IMO). However, many in the industry do not believe that sufficient action is being taken at a fast-enough pace to meet the urgency of the challenge.

Therefore, the ‘Ambition 1.5oC: Global Shipping’s Action Plan’ summit at COP23 will gather 150- 200 invited, influential industry representatives and UNFCCC delegates to take action and create an Action Plan for the decarbonisation of the shipping industry. Work undertaken to develop the Action Plan and strategies held within will consider all active industry environmental work streams and initiatives. The group will use the reviewed and accelerated ‘pathway’ developed by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative as a framework for the Action Plan.

The summit will be held in Bonn on November 13, 2017, onboard the RheinFantasie river vessel. It has been officially endorsed by a jury consisting of the UNFCCC partners; the incoming Fijian Presidency of COP23, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the City of Bonn and is an official Climate Partner for COP23.

Following the summit, a briefing document will be delivered to UNFCCC delegates, National delegation focal points, the UNFCCC secretariat and all relevant national policy makers to influence discussions around shipping transportation at the core COP23 proceedings. This briefing document will provide a summary of the main challenges and opportunities of shipping industry decarbonisation, the high ambition approaches agreed at the summit and a copy of the draft Action Plan created. An official press conference will also be held at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety on November 15, 2017.

Co-organisers of ‘Ambition 1.5oC: Global Shipping’s Action Plan’ include Lloyd’s Register, MAN Diesel & Turbo, RightShip, MARIKO, Danish Shipping, International Windship Association (IWSA) and Green Ship of the Future. The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) and Carbon War Room are acting as advisors. The official event organisers are The Blue Green Events Company, Mantour Consultancy and Smart Green Shipping Alliance (SGSA).

Katharine Palmer, LR’s Global Sustainability Manager, commented: “With the reality to achieve a 50% reduction in CO2 by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement, zero emission vessels (ZEVs) need to be entering the fleet in about 2030. The big question is how do we make this a reality? As a co-organiser of this Ambition event, we have the opportunity to highlight the potential and commercial attractiveness this offers and by bringing together the key stakeholders, of what is often a fragmented industry, the possibility to deliver a global action plan we can all commit to”