June 23 - BIMCO, INTERCARGO, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and INTERTANKO have made a joint proposal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) concerning ambitious CO2 reductions by the international shipping sector.

In July, the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee will meet in London to discuss a strategy for the reduction of the sector's CO2 emissions, aligning the international shipping sector response to the 2015 Paris Agreement's call for ambitious contributions to combat climate change.

The sector, which is responsible for the transport of approximately 90 percent of global trade, accounts for 2.2 percent of the world's annual man-made CO2 emissions, and the four industry bodies have proposed that IMO member states should adopt two objectives on behalf of the international shipping sector.

The first objective is to maintain international shipping's total CO2 emissions below 2008 levels, while the second proposes the reduction of CO2 emissions per tonne of cargo transported 1 km, as an average across international shipping, by at least 50 percent by 2050, compared to 2008.

The industry associations have suggested that the IMO should give consideration to another possible objective of reducing international shipping's total annual CO2 emissions, by an agreed percentage by 2050 compared to 2008, as a point on a continuing trajectory of further CO2 emissions reduction.

According to the trade associations, the shipping industry wants the IMO to remain in control of additional measures to address CO2 reduction by international shipping and to develop a global solution, rather than risk the danger of market-distorting measures at the national or regional level.

Acknowledging the concerns of developing nations about the possible impacts of CO2 reduction for trade and sustainable development, the industry submission emphasises that any objectives adopted by the IMO must not imply any commitment to place a binding cap on the sector's total CO2 emissions or on the emissions of individual ships.

The industry associations also highlight that dramatic in-sector CO2 reductions alongside increasing trade would require substantial and research into the development of alternative fossil-free fuels and new technologies - something which they say needs to be identified by the IMO strategy.