UNFCCC and IMO - the GHG debate continues
25th September 2012 16:44 GMT

With the  UNFCCC informal meeting  just finished in Bangkok (http://www.iisd.ca/climate/ccwg17i/ and www.unfccc.int) the questions have to be:

• will the outcome ease discussions on greenhouse gas (GHG) at IMO MEPC in October? I do not believe so.
• will the IMO MEPC negotiations experience some familiar statements and discussions? I believe so.

But why?

The UNFCCC meeting was centred around informal consultations and workshops. But its outcome together with the outcome from the formal meeting in Bonn in May still leaves unresolved matters in relation to two critical issues for IMO technology transfer and bunker fuels.

Technology transfer was less on my agenda ahead of the Bonn meeting in May  – but now is a critical issue to be resolved. As the topic of technology transfer is complex my aim in this blog is to deal with the matter of bunker fuels. In relation to technology transfer – watch this space as I am planning a blog on that soon.

Bunker fuels – the informal summary following the meeting in Bangkok by the chair of the Adhoc Working Group on Longterm Cooperative Action (AWG LCA) under agenda item 3(b)(iv) sectoral agreement, which is where bunker fuels are covered,  indicate that the negotiators still have to agree on whether to have or not to have a ‘chapeau’ introduction to the sectoral agreement text. The EU, among many, does not want to see a ‘chapeau’. Additionally there remain five different options for text in relation to bunker fuels.

The submissions on bunker fuels to the Bangkok meeting all agree it is for IMO to regulated shipping. The main difference relates to what takes precedence. The IMO principle of  ‘equal treatment for all ships’ or UNFCCC principle of common but differentiating responsibility (CBDR)?

The EU in its submission is clear that the IMO principle should govern any agreement but ‘acknowledge that the special circumstances and respective capabilities of parties could be addressed through both the said principles and practices, the specific design parameters of future ICAO and IMO measures and, for example, the use of potential revenues’. In addition, the EU proposes that UNFCCC should provide guidance to IMO on the level of ambition it should aim for.

A number of developing countries in their submission are clear that UNFCCC CBDR principle should govern any work at IMO.

Read the above in conjunction with the continuing challenge of the UNFCCC principle that underpins the UNFCCC discussion ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances’ now sometimes abbreviated to CBDRRC instead of CBDR. CBDR as an important governing principle was confirmed at the Rio+20 meeting in June ( http://www.uncsd2012.org/thefuturewewant.html ). Since the Bonn meeting in May CDBR is equated (for now at least) with the term ‘equity’. A term that emerged from the Durban UNFCCC meeting in December 2011.

Making predictions on the outcome of MEPC (or any international negotiation session) is always a risk but my expectation in relation to the market based measures discussions is that we will ‘hear’ many words and that the terms CBDR or equity will be used a number of times. But we will not experience much progress.

I shall keep you posted on how it all goes…

Anne-Marie Warris,
25th September 2012 16:44 GMT

Comments on this Blog
Heinz Otto
26th September 2012
Hi Ann-Marie Warris,
it seems to me, as I wrote it to you in 2009 - see below, that the IMO works only, to protect the big ones in the world-trading-fleet with the-as you mentioned "The IMO principle of ‘equal treatment for all ships’" and not with the " UNFCCC principle of common but differentiating responsibility (CBDR) " . And this CBDR is the needed way in justice for the big ones and the small ones in the world-trading-fleet.
In "the future we want" is written at No.163: "We note with concern that the health of oceans and marine biodiversity are negatively affected by marine pollution, including marine debris, especially plastic, persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals and nitrogen-based compounds, from a number of marine and land-based sources, including shipping ".
Let us work, not only talk.
Regards, Heinz Otto
This was, what I wrote to you while COP-15:


Heinz OTTO13 December 2009 03:32

Hello Dr. AMW,
all the high level discussions dont help to restore the quantity of the Oil and the clean air from the sixties.
When i started my professional live at a yard in Hamburg, i niticed. what a hell poisened wastegas from the funnel of our ships where emissioned.
Since that time, I supported the developments of NEW SAILSYSTEMS, like DYNARIG.
Regarding COP15, I send a NOTE -direct by mail- to both LADYS:

Note according ships + climate in front of cop15
to Connie Hedegaard (today, the 6. th of Dec. 2009: Lykke Friis)
Høyrups Alle 24, 2900 Hellerup, and the Ministry for Climate and Energy, Stormgade 2- 6, 1470 Copenhagen K, Address min@kemin.dk

Dear Connie (today : sehr geehrte Frau Friis),

this note is hopefully additional power for you for the struggle with the IMO. As you surely know, the IMO is on a very slowly way to change there responsible efforts of exhausting HFO-Emissions; they only wants to reduce the sulphur of the HFO. There is no signal of use other propulsionsystems for ships in the near future. This is no way to achieve the max2°-goal , it is a way into a chaos.

Your country DK, Mr. Obamas country USA and mine is able to serve technical solutions for the bulker-Fleet of the world: Using the wind.
- DK has the development from Knud E. Hansen: Modern Wind Ship
- USA has the private sailing ship MALTESE FALCON (DYNARIG, now known as Falcon Rig)
- Germany has the systems: SKYSAILS, Flettner-Rotor, INDOSAIL and an alternated Dynarig, called PINTA-RIG .
Please take your attention to the added files (and LINKS below).
Hope for a good Job while the cop15 - Meeting to give the IMO what they need!

("old": I wish you success for the new task in the European Commission)

"neu, am 6.12.09" : Für Ihr neues Amt in Kopenhagens Regierung wünsche ich Ihnen Kraft und Durchhaltevermögen.

sincerely yours
Heinz Otto,
www.sailing-traders.com (from my friend Kpt. Schwarz)

It would be nice, to hear -asap- from you, Dr. AM Warris,
Heinz Otto
Mail: h.otto@windstammtisch.de

Comments have been closed for this article.