EU calls for shipping and aviation emissions control


Some European nations are calling for tougher regulation of shipping and aviation emissions, saying they should be included in any new climate pact alongside pollutants from power plants and agriculture.


But the proposals from Norway and the European Community unveiled on Thursday at the UN Climate conference received a mixed reception among delegates.


Thailand and others opposed the proposal on the grounds it could hurt their economies. Some, including Australia and China, felt the issue was already being tackled by the industries’ respective associations – the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the UN’s International Maritime Organization.


Emissions from aviation and shipping represent from 5 per cent to 7 per cent of global emissions, but European governments fear pollutants from the two sectors could increase significantly by 2020. The European Community said shipping emissions are projected to grow by 32 per cent, while aviation is expecting an increase of up to 90 per cent.


“Emissions from international aviation and maritime transport ... are growing fast so we need to address them in a future regime,” said Jakob Graichen, a European Community delegate. “It is important to set clear and meaningful targets in the two sectors to ensure they contribute to the global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change.”


The debate over transport emissions is part of a larger discussion taking place this week in Bangkok among 163 governments over what should be included in a new climate change agreement. The agreement would replace the Kyoto Protocol – which expires in 2012 – to rein in carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases blamed for the rise in world temperatures.


The organisations representing the shipping and aviation sectors contend they are doing their part to reduce emissions. But in statements, neither offered specific details of the actions being taking.


They successfully fended off efforts to include maritime and aviation emissions in the Kyoto Protocol agreed to decade ago. But critics said neither the aviation nor the maritime industry has made good on promises to self regulate their emissions and should be subject to tougher measures, such as caps, under a future agreement.


“There has been very little action by those two international organizations to reduce emissions in these key sectors so we think it should come under some trading region in (a post-2012 agreement),” said Ian Fry, a delegate from the South Pacific island of Tuvalu. (AP)