Kelly urges shipping industry to act on emissions

Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly has marked the re-opening of the International Maritime Organization̵7;s London headquarters with a call for the global community to take further action on carbon emissions from shipping, which are estimated to account for up to 4.5 per cent of the global total.

Kelly was joined at the event, which coincided with the IMO̵7;s 60th anniversary and the hundredth meeting of its council, by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The only UN agency with headquarters in the UK, the IMO is responsible for safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution.

"Combating rising emissions is among the biggest challenges the maritime industry faces. We must deal with this at a global level and I am confident the IMO will show leadership in tackling this international issue,̶1; Kelly said.

The IMO is aiming to achieve agreement on recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships next year. Member states have a duty to look at proposals for an emissions trading scheme for shipping, as well as the potential of new technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells and the possibility of slowing down ships to maximise fuel efficiency, Kelly added. "Progress has been made but there is more to do and I know the IMO can rise to this challenge."

The UK Government has contributed approximately £58m towards the cost of refurbishing the IMO building on London's Albert Embankment, which now incorporates environmental features to reduce energy consumption.

"Shipping plays a crucial role in the global economy with around 90 per cent of world trade transported by sea and the maritime industry contributing over £7bn to the UK economy in export earnings,̶1; said Kelly. ̶0;I am proud we host the IMO here in London, which continues to be the world's leading maritime centre."

Image: Transport secretary Ruth Kelly

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