BIMCO demands IMO GHG study is based on realistic economic growth

Feb 15 2019

BIMCO has asked that the Fourth IMO Greenhouse Gas Study (GHG) will not include unrealistically high gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections to predict future transport demand - thus impacting on shipping industry emissions.

This demand was made to the expert workshop preparing for the study, which is meeting in London between 12th-14th March.

“It is imperative that the industry – and the world – base discussions and actions to reduce emissions from shipping on credible and realistic projections. If not, we risk making the wrong decisions and spending resources ineffectively,” explained Lars Robert Pedersen, BIMCO Deputy Secretary General.

BIMCO argued that the 4th IMO GHG Study should avoid scenarios 1 and 5 of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP), as these project considerably higher and unrealistic short- to mid-term economic growth (as much as two percentage points higher) than current economic trends and OECD projections.

It should be noted that only the lowest of the five SSPs (scenario 3) has calculated growth in line with current OECD projections.

“The previous study’s most pessimistic projection of a 250% increase in CO2 emissions from shipping has since proven to be totally unrealistic, given the actual and projected economic development of the world. Unfortunately, the 250% projection has frequently been used as a stick against the shipping industry and to shape regional policy. BIMCO wants to avoid that happening again,” Pedersen stressed.

BIMCO has collaborated with CE Delft, the consultancy that modelled and calculated the 3rd IMO GHG Study’s projections in 2014 for future GHG emissions from ships. The revised calculation includes the most recent OECD GDP projections.

The report highlighted that when using a more realistic GDP growth scenario, the shipping industry is projected to achieve an absolute reduction of 20% versus the target of an absolute emission reduction of 50% by 2050, compared to 2008.

“We will need new solutions, in addition to traditional efficiency measures, to reach the 2050 target. But to pick the right solutions, we need realistic projections,” Pedersen added.

Lower transport work projections have recently been supported by two other studies: ‘Energy Transition Outlook 2018: Maritime Forecast to 2050’ by DNV GL and ‘Transport 2040 - Automation, Technology and Employment – The Future of Work’ by the World Maritime University.

Both studies have de-coupled the correlation between the growth in GDP and transport demand after 2030, and they both arrive at projections well below the BIMCO/CE Delft recalculation of the 3rd GHG study.

BIMCO also suggested that the IMO expert workshop take the de-coupling of GDP growth and transport work into consideration.


Previous: Sulfur and Greenhouse Gas reduction a priority - ICS

Next: Advice on dealing with low sulfur cap

Jun-Jul 2024

Tanker Operator Athens report: managing crewing, training challenges, views on SIRE 2.0