U.N. shipping agency to tackle growing CO2 emissions

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Following years of slow progress to cut carbon emissions,the United Nations shipping agency reached an agreement on Friday to cut the  emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared with the 2008 levels that fell short of more ambitious targets.

According to Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) the adoption of the strategy “would allow future IMO work on climate change to be rooted in a solid basis”.

The IMO has also affirmed its commitment  towards phasing out CO2 emissions entirely.

Delegates said opposition from some countries – including the United States, Saudi Arabia and Panama – had limited what could be achieved at the IMO session this week in London.

“The IMO should and could have gone a lot further,” said Bill Hemmings, shipping director with green campaigners Transport & Environment.

Greenpeace International political adviser Veronica Frank also added her voice to the matter saying that the plan was “far from perfect but the direction is now clear – a phase-out of carbon emissions”.

European Union countries along with the Marshall Islands, the world’s second-biggest ship registry, had supported a goal of cutting emissions by 70 to 100 percent by 2050, compared with 2008 levels.

The IMO has adopted mandatory rules for new vessels to boost fuel efficiency as a means of cutting CO2 from ship engines.

The text produced by the IMO working group submitted to member states said the initial strategy would not be legally binding for member states.The final IMO plan and strategy will be expected in 2023 and 2028 and will both be subjected to a review.