Does US quitting Paris Agreement impact IMO climate talks?
President Donald Trump has said he will pull the US out of the UN’s Paris Agreement on climate change. The deal – signed off in December 2015 by 195 countries – aims to limit global warming to well below 2C above pre industrial levels, a ceiling deemed dangerous by scientists. It’s important to note the White House decision does not directly impact climate talks at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Shipping was not included in the Paris Agreement and negotiations on maritime pollution control, the use of HFO in polar waters and CO2 cuts are the focus of IMO. On Friday the EU and China will announce a new range of collaborative measures on climate, including a pledge to “reinforce cooperation” at the IMO. But with the US accounting for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions, Trump’s decision raises the pressure on all major industrial sectors to deliver their fair share of carbon cuts.
Dan Rutherford, marine director at the International Council on Clean Transportation “Since shipping isn’t covered in the Paris Agreement, it seems unlikely that this will slow down progress in IMO. For example, the US remains bound by its promises to reduce black carbon emissions and dirty marine fuels in the Arctic.
Trump’s move doesn’t change that.” -Bill Hemmings, Director, Aviation and Shipping, Transport & Environment “US pullout puts even greater pressure on the shipping industry to act.
We will be watching and pressing all IMO member states, particularly some of those flags of convenience representing such a large proportion of the world’s fleet not to backslide. Already proposals on the table from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and others hardly deviate from business as usual. It’s now or never for the IMO to act and time for the EU to implement an “insurance policy” should IMO fail.”
-Aron Cramer, President and CEO, BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) “U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is a major mistake that will serve as a setback for climate action, global cooperation, and business, which overwhelmingly supports Paris. This decision not only damages the global consensus on how to address climate change, but also the innovation, competitiveness, and job creation that can flow from the steps outlined in Paris.
Despite this deeply regrettable decision, I am confident that business–very much including American companies–will remain resolute in showing how the transition to low-carbon prosperity can be achieved and can improve livelihoods. BSR will continue to work with businesses that understand this and that are leading the way to 21st-century business models.” -John Maggs, Senior Policy Advisor, Seas At Risk
“As the US shirks its climate responsibilities the importance of action by other big emitters like international shipping only grows”. -Bas Eickhout, Dutch Member of the European Parliament “It is astonishing that Trump has decided to pull out one of the most important global tasks ahead of us in fighting climate change.
Trump’s action is both economically and environmentally backward looking. At the latest G7 summit it already became clear how alone Trump stands. Now he decides to pull out of the Paris Agreement, he chooses to stand together with Syria and Nicaragua.
We need all parties to stand together. France and Germany in particular have key roles to play with regard to the next UN climate conference. It’s of critical importance that financial support for the climate fund does not cease.”
-Dietmar Oeliger, Head of Transport Policy, NABU “Donald Trump is making a mistake ignoring the facts of climate change. He is making a mistake isolating his country from the chances that a transition to cleaner technologies and energies will deliver.
That does not necessarily mean that the rest of the world and especially the IMO should follow. To the contrary, the shipping sector in many ways will be effected by climate change and must take over responsibility.” -Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor, Clean Arctic Alliance
“It is unbelievable that Trump is pulling back on international consensus on the climate at a time when the Arctic is facing unprecedented change linked to climate and ocean warming.
What we are seeing in the Arctic is scary and it is imperative that world leaders unite in their isolation of the US position and that the shipping industry faces up to its responsibilities and starts cutting carbon dioxide and black carbon emissions immediately – a quick first-step should be to stop using HFO in the Arctic.”
Source: Global Strategic Communications Council