European shipowners strongly believe that the environmental committee of the IMO, MEPC, can reach an ambitious initial CO2 reduction strategy by the end of this week, building on the results of the meeting of the intersessional working group of last week.
Realising that governments have to take and give during the negotiations, which will not be easy and requires courage to do, European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) is confident that ultimately all governments will realise that a deal has to be made.
A deal based on the ambitious European approach, taking into account legitimate concerns of developing countries and of countries threatened in their existence by a rising sea level, is in the opinion of ECSA possible and necessary. European governments can be the driving force in reaching an agreement that strikes the right balance between the interests of all countries worldwide.
If an initial strategy is agreed upon, this will give a clear and much wanted signal to the shipping industry and all other organisations in the maritime cluster to move full speed ahead to a fully decarbonised shipping industry as soon as possible.
Alternative low carbon or carbon free fuels, alternative propulsion systems and operational measures will be absolutely necessary to reach that ultimate goal. Much R&D has to be done, for which public funding will be an important source of finance.
Also by taking other smart and effective measures governments can speed up the developments, for example by supporting first movers and adapting or introducing legislation to accommodate new concepts.
On the short and medium term other CO2 emission reduction measures are possible and should be introduced and implemented as soon as possible after a thorough assessment of all related aspects, to prevent mistakes that might harm longer term developments.