Catching up with Doha, Durban, Cancun and Copenhagen
12th December 2012 12:03 GMT

Two weeks of climate negotiations have concluded with a marathon ending, so what is the result of the ‘Doha Climate Gateway’ for shipping? Essentially there is no substantial change and shipping is no better off!

The COP 18 Decisions provide no text on sectoral approaches and bunker fuels within the framework of the Adhoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action. This group has now disbanded but its work can be expected to, in parts, continue through the work of the Adhoc Group on the Durban Platform of Enhanced Action.

The Kyoto Protocol has been extended with a second phase, so the text in the Protocol related to bunker fuels continues to apply. Of course, sectoral text mentioning shipping text in the Convention also continues to apply.

The COP 18 Decision on long term finance makes no mention of shipping. The risk of shipping being used to help fund the Green Climate Fund has therefore receded but not removed.

This leaves shipping and IMO with:

- challenges – as experienced at IMO MEPC 64:

  • technology transfer
  • term ‘equity’ or the more commonly used term ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ (CBDR)
  • the argument that action should be taken by Annex I countries ensuring it does not impact on Non Annex I countries.
- opportunity to move forward in the space provided by the EC Decision to progress with a phased approach starting with monitoring CO2 emissions and then, if necessary, moving to a market base measure.

Note the EC development should not be confused with the IMO GHG study, this aims to gather global data at a point in time and then predict future GHG emission scenarios, whereas EC is aiming at individual ship data on a regular frequency.

As 2012 draws to a close my prediction for 2013 is that we will see a continued focus:

  •     short term - efficiency (energy, operational, fuel etc), Emission Control Areas compliance with its associated impact on fuel choices/CO2 emissions
  •     medium term - alternative fuels as well as ballast water and recycling
Have a look at the results of the SmartShipping Survey 2012 for a more encompassing view.

Best wishes for the festive season with hope that 2013 will be better.


  • In terms of Kyoto Protocol the relevant text is Article 2.2 – The Parties included in Annex I shall pursue limitation or reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol from aviation and marine bunker fuels, working through the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, respectively.
  • In terms of the Convention the relevant text is Article 4.1c) – “All Parties, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances, shall: (c) Promote and cooperate in the development, application and diffusion, including transfer, of technologies, practices and processes that control, reduce or prevent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol in all relevant sectors, including the energy, transport, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste management sectors”.

Anne-Marie Warris,
12th December 2012 12:03 GMT

Comments on this Blog
Heinz Otto
25th December 2012
Hi Dr. Anne-Marie Warris,
thanks for your words with hope into a greener shipping future.
I have checked your "" - Information and i missed once again loud and clear the developement of new wind-propulsioned ships, as I have done it while CPO 15:

Long terme MBM and eventually reducing the GHG is not the way, if you remember the latest - study.
All the best for 2013 to you and your work

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