The International Chamber of Shipping said the maritime industry shouldn’t have to pay more than its share of the cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming.
ICS Chairman Masamichi Morooka responded to Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who said last month that “charges on international aviation and maritime emissions would raise about a quarter of the $100 billion needed for climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.”
“Most shipowners believe, given the severely depressed state of global shipping markets, that now is certainly not the time to impose an additional major cost on international shipping,” Morooka said in a letter to Lagarde.
He said shipowners are willing to pay their share of costs, “provided that such money is indeed used for climate change adaptation or mitigation,” and that the same charges apply to all ships internationally regardless of flag.
Morooka added that any contribution by shipping should be proportionate to its 3 percent share of global emissions, and that the International Maritime Organization should be the proper forum for discussion of any fees.
He noted that two-thirds of the world’s merchant fleet is registered in nations not covered by Annex 1 of the Kyoto climate-change protocol.
“If any carbon charges were only to apply to ships registered in Kyoto Protocol ‘Annex 1’ nations, these ships would be at a major competitive disadvantage to the ships registered in ‘non-Annex 1’ nations,” Morooka said. “Because of the serious market distortion that would be created, many of these ships would simply change their flag to a jurisdiction where the carbon charge did not apply.”