Guess essay by Eric Worrall
Climate campaigners are upset that the climate targets recommended by the UN International Maritime Organization don’t include a requirement that overall CO2 emissions be reduced.
Campaigners criticise global deal on carbon emissions from shipping
Green groups say agreement will allow emissions to continue to rise in the next decade
Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent
Sat 24 Oct 2020 03.32 AEDT
Governments have rejected calls for tougher regulation of international shipping, settling instead for new rules on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that campaigners say will imperil the Paris climate goals.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN body that regulates international shipping, agreed on Friday after a week-long online meeting to make an existing target legally binding: to reduce the carbon intensity of shipping by 40% compared with 2008 levels in the next 10 years.
The conclusions, reached by ministers from around the world despite calls from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and others for more stringent curbs on emissions, will go forward to the IMO’s marine environment protection committee for acceptance next month.
Campaigners said the deal would allow carbon dioxide emissions from shipping to continue to rise in the next decade, despite warnings from scientists that global emissions need to be brought down sharply over that period.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/23/green-groups-condemn-proposals-to-cut-shipping-emissions
I can’t help thinking international shipping organisations are missing an opportunity to turn the tables on climate activists.
One of the few geoengineering proposals which seems unlikely to kill people is to seed the ocean with iron oxide. Iron is the primary limiting nutrient for microscopic plant life over vast stretches of ocean. Even a few extra tons of iron delivered to the ocean surface could make a significant difference to algae growth over a vast area.
If ships could inject small quantities of cheap low grade iron into their exhaust, either as a fuel micro-additive or via a mechanism to inject powdered oxide into their exhaust stream, or even simply toss a few bags of iron oxide over the side as they travel, they would be in a strong position to claim their activities were a net climate benefit.