@ Geneva: UNCTAD Expert Meeting

UNCTAD Expert Meeting on Maritime Transport and the Climate Change ChallengeIMERS was thoroughly debated at the UNCTAD expert meeting on Maritime Transport and the Climate Change Challenge, in Geneva, 16 - 18 February. Our formal submission (0.2 Mb) and the presentation (0.3 Mb) were entitled:

  • A levy on fuel for international shipping, which differentiates responsibilities between developed and developing countries

IMERS solution was very well received by experts from both developing and developed countries. Several experts described it as a concrete proposal to bridge the gap between the CBDR principle (common but differentiated responsibilities) and the need for a global regime for shipping emissions. Some experts called for extra research.

Another perspective of the discussions in Geneva was that the scheme would contribute to increased trade and development for developing countries. This would be achieved by reducing the disproportionally high cost of transport typical for developing countries. The greatest short-term benefits are likely to be achieved by directing some of the funding raised by the scheme to trade facilitation, as shipping efficiencies has reached something of a plateau. Considering that such funding would pull behind several times more financing from the public and private sector significant improvements would be achieved. In short, proposed climate policy would lead to green economic growth.

It has also been pointed out that the imperative to address shipping emissions is already present in at least 14 separate paragraphs of the UNFCCC assembly paper on the Bali Action Plan (FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/16/Rev.1). Half of these refer to a levy on maritime transport (shipping fuel/marine haulage). These paragraphs reflect proposals by different states and organizations. They are: 23 (c )(iii), 26(f), 65(o), 68 (c), 72(d), 72(f), 87(a), 87(b), 96, 154(a), 155 (e), 172(d)(vi), 176(e), 178(a). Our view was that a state submission on the differentiated levy is essential to both the UNFCCC and the IMO multilateral processes (as the next IMO MEPC meeting that could consider such a proposal is after the draft of the Copenhagen Protocol/outcome is needed).

The details of the meeting are available from UNCTAD, including a background paper.

The meeting's records are available:

The meeting and IMERS have been reported in several publications, including: