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Shipping emissions levy delayed but goals for greenhouse gas cuts agreed

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Attempts to impose a levy on greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, in order to fund climate action, have been delayed but not extinguished at the conclusion of talks among 175 governments.

Greenhouse gas reduction goals for international shipping were agreed, in a toughening of previous targets, but were criticised as inadequate by campaigners.

Two weeks of talks at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) produced an agreement to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared with 2008 levels. Intensity refers to the emissions produced per cargo and distance travelled.

Governments also resolved to cut the total emissions from international shipping by at least 20% by 2030, with an ambition to reach 30% cuts by that date. The IMO also said international shipping would reach net zero “close to” 2050. Campaigners wanted a 50% cut by 2030 and a firm commitment on net zero by 2050 at the latest.

To spur the uptake of clean technologies for shipping, at least 5% of the energy used for international shipping by 2030 should be zero…

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