UK Chamber of Shipping refutes conclusion of Energy and Climate Change Committee that international solution on reducing carbon is a ‘delaying tactic’

The UK Chamber of Shipping welcomes the discussion on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in the Energy and Climate Change Committee report published this week, but strongly refutes the findings with respect to shipping.

The section of the Committee’s report on shipping concludes that calls by the industry for an international cap-and-trade scheme for shipping are a delaying tactic and that shipping should be included in an EU ETS. Mark Brownrigg, Director General of the Chamber of Shipping strongly refuted this argument, issuing the following statement:

“A global solution is the only workable goal for the reduction of carbon emissions from shipping and we refute the Committee’s conclusion that this is a delaying tactic.

“This displays a lack of understanding of the shipping industry and how it is regulated, which were also echoed in some of the commentary during evidence sessions. 

“The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), after many months of extensive research and consultation, produced a study paper last year reviewing shipping emissions and whether they should be included in UK carbon targets and budgets. The CCC clearly state in their initial paper that ‘ideally shipping would be covered by a global agreement’ and will report fully in March this year.

“The UK Chamber of Shipping is actively involved in the debate on how best to reduce emissions from shipping, recently producing 2 papers, one outlining how an ETS might work for shipping and the other, how an international contribution fund of levy might work. We work closely with the UK Government which is a world leader in addressing climate change and a key player within the debate in the IMO on how best to reduce emissions from shipping without damaging world trade.

“One assumption it is important to publicly dispel is that shipping is ‘the most polluting industry in the world’ as Tim Yeo MP alleges. Shipping is the most carbon-efficient mode of mass-transport. For every unit of freight transported per kilometre it produces:

  • half the carbon emissions of rail,
  • one fifth compared to road and
  • 500 times less when compared to air freight.
  • it is 47 times more carbon efficient that one of the best known low carbon cars. 

“We strongly believe that the EU Commission should join the IMO effort to find a global solution. Aside from requiring fiendishly complex regulation and potentially negative impact to European trade, fundamentally the regional ETS would be very easy to avoid, thus negating its purpose. That is why those, such as CCC, who have troubled to understand the nature of shipping and its complexity as a truly global industry, acknowledge that helping the IMO to find a global solution is the best way forward.”