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Throwing stones in greenhouses: Global shipping and climate change after Paris by Jeffrey J. Smith - Subscriber Access Only

By BCShippingNews 06 December 2015

It will seem as if the whole world has descended on Paris when the global climate change summit convenes this December. Formally, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (the UNFCCC) marks a turning-point in how humanity will collectively address the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. The challenge is acute across the board in environmental terms and the policy choices to be made by governments to implement durable domestic measures. The global maritime industry, while predictably featuring only peripherally in Paris, has a continuing important role in the effort against climate change. That has two aspects, namely, to pursue governance within the industry such that its overall greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are reduced over time, and to continue providing an efficient means of moving the world’s people and goods in order to contribute to successes in climate change in other industries including manufacturing, mining and power generation.

Photo above: Four climate change scenarios. It is generally agreed that global warming must be limited to an increase of two degrees Celcius. To accomplish this, the lowest line — RCP3 indicating a strict upper limit of an equivalent of 421 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — must the the goal coming out of Paris. (IPCC 5th Report, 2014)