The Executive Committee of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), met in London this week.
The Executive Committee of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which is the principal international trade association for international merchant shipowners, met in London this week. CO2 Emission Reductions In the run up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Copenhagen in December, the Committee expressed satisfaction with the real progress already made by governments, at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in developing a package of measures to reduce shipping"s CO2 emissions, with an agreed timetable for adoption.
ICS confirmed the industry belief that the achievement of meaningful CO2 emissions reductions will best be achieved if nations agree that the development of detailed measures for the international merchant fleet are directed by governments at IMO, but in line with the outcomes on global CO2 reduction that will hopefully be agreed by the UN in Copenhagen.
?All the ingredients are there, we just need UNFCCC to provide IMO with a continuing mandate to complete its important work.? said ICS Chairman Spyros M Polemis.
?Most governments recognise that emissions from international shipping cannot be attributed to any particular national economy.? explained Mr Polemis. ?The delivery of significant emissions reductions will therefore require that any measures adopted for shipping are applied on a global and uniform basis in order to avoid any "carbon leakage". Such measures can only be realistically delivered by IMO, which has a successful track record in producing international rules for shipping that are enforced worldwide.?
The Executive Committee agreed that ICS member national associations would, between now and December, liaise with their government negotiators attending the UN Copenhagen Conference to ensure that they fully understand the characteristics of the shipping industry and the substantial measures already being taken, by the industry and IMO, to reduce carbon emissions from ships.
ICS members expressed their continuing appreciation of the determination shown by naval forces providing protection to merchant ships that continue to be attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean.
?However?, warned Mr Polemis ?while the current levels of military protection must be sustained, or better still increased, there is a danger that the current arrangements may become "institutionalised". We agreed that some serious new strategic thinking is needed if governments are to suppress piracy in the near future. While we support efforts to establish a stable government in Somalia, this could well take years if not decades. The unacceptable situation prevailing now, where the lives of seafarers are threatened on a daily basis, and many pirates still operate more or less with impunity, cannot be allowed to continue.?
Criminalisation of Seafarers
The ICS Executive Committee reviewed the development of a campaign to change governments" attitudes towards criminalising seafarers for accidental pollution in violation of international law, and it was agreed that the ICS Chairman should write to governments highlighting the industry"s continuing concerns. It was also agreed that ICS should continue to intervene, as appropriate, in individual cases, such as those involving the prolonged detention of seafarers without charge following accidents.
Mr. Polemis added ?We agreed that national shipowners" associations should continue to urge all governments to adhere to the IMO/ILO Guidelines on Fair Treatment of Seafarers in the Event of a Maritime Accident, to provide the legitimate protection which seafarers deserve.?