Shipowners join WWF, Oxfam in urging climate levy

Monday, 5 December 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Chamber prefers compensation fund over emissions trading scheme
  • Carbon levy could help finance Green Climate Fund

BRUSSELS 9 (Reuters): The International Chamber of Shipping last week joined campaign groups Oxfam and WWF to urge climate talks in Durban to help put a price on polluting emissions from ships, which could help raise funding to tackle global warming.

Oxfam and WWF have been pressing for a maritime carbon levy and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents more than 80 percent of the world’s merchant fleet, gave its qualified support.

“If governments decide that shipping should contribute to the UNFCCC Green Climate Fund, the industry can probably support this in principle,” ICS Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe said in a statement released to coincide with the Durban talks, last week.

Previous talks under the aegis of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, the parent treaty of the Kyoto Protocol on combating global warming, have agreed on a Green Climate Fund.

The Durban meeting is expected to work on the design of the fund, which would channel money to help developing nations tackle climate change.

Hinchliffe’s conditions to the proposed shipping levy included that details would have to be agreed at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

He also said the industry’s preference was for a compensation fund linked to ships’ fuel consumption, rather than an emissions trading scheme (ETS).

The European Union’s plan to make all airlines taking off or landing in EU airports pay for carbon emissions under its EU ETS from Jan. 1 has stirred furious opposition and court action from the airline industry.  Shipping is held accountable for around 3 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.  IMO talks on tackling them have dragged on.

“It is vital that governments meeting this month at the U.N. climate talks in Durban give the signal needed to move such a deal forward in the International Maritime Organization,” Tim Gore, Oxfam climate change policy advisor, said.