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Citizens tell EU to “Sort Your Ship Out” during EU Shipping Week

Citizens tell EU to “Sort Your Ship Out” during EU Shipping Week

A single container shipping company, MSC, is now one of Europe's top greenhouse gas polluters

Technology
Protesters create Arctic crime scene at international shipping summit

Protesters create Arctic crime scene at international shipping summit

International Maritime Organization (IMO) challenged over Arctic pollution and climate emissions as delegates gather in London

Technology
Two becomes three for shipping protest couple

Two becomes three for shipping protest couple

Saint Valentine reigns supreme as pair who fell in love at demo set to return two years later, with baby, to help protect the arctic

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UN condemns WWF flagship project in Congo

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Pie net zero - what's the f**king point?

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Technology

Citizens tell EU to “Sort Your Ship Out” during EU Shipping Week

A single container shipping company, MSC, is now one of Europe's top greenhouse gas polluters

On the 19th February, 2020 a coalition of shipping-focused climate activists called for urgent EU action this year to combat the impact of shipping. They were joined outside the European Parliament by MEP Jutta Paulus. She said -

As we have declared as the Parliament a climate and environmental urgency, it’s high time that we stop just counting emissions and start reducing them

A single container shipping company, MSC, recently entered the top 10 European greenhouse gas polluters list, joining giant coal power plants and airlines.

But unlike other sectors, shipping’s CO2 emissions remain completely unregulated, its fossil fuel remains tax free, and its ownership is directed through tax haven “Flag States”.

These Flag States themselves lobby to block action at a corporate - captured UN agency which is supposed to be making rules in the public interest. There is still no meaningful CO2 reduction regulation in place, 23 years after the Kyoto protocol handed responsibility to the IMO in 1997. In a climate emergency, this situation is insane. We don’t have time left.

MEP Jutta Paulus speaks to campaigners outside the EU Parliment

MEP Jutta Paulus also said - "We have very high emissions from the shipping sector in the EU that would sum up to the whole country of Belgium… we are calling for a 40% reduction in transportation work by 2030." She went on -

If a ship owner cannot handle the necessary investment - they have to sail slower because if you reduce speed you save fuel.

On 19th February the European Parliament Transport Committee will meet to discuss regulation of the emissions from shipping as part of the revisions of its Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation. This is the moment for the EU to act to make rules for shipping to pay for its emissions, and create a Maritime fund to build the zero emission ships of the future.

The Secretary General of the corporate-captured IMO, Kitack Lim, is coming to Brussels to lobby MEPs on Thursday this week – probably hoping to kill off more ambitious regional climate action. The EU must stand up for its right, and duty, to take the lead in cleaning up this sector against vested interests.

What are the campaigners calling for?

--EU must take responsibility for emissions from EU trade and regulate these shipping emissions

--Shipping emissions can be regulated via the existing Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation which is currently being reviewed by the European Parliament

--Ships must pay for their climate pollution just like any other industrial sector

--Revenue from a shipping carbon price can be invested in building new zero emission vessels (many companies are working on this, but need funding for development and trials of new fuel and propulsion systems)

--The technology already exists for zero emission shipping, but must be scaled up massively

Quotes from “sort your ship out” participants

  • Rosa Hofgärtner, Sail to the COP – “The Paris Agreement calls for economy wide emissions reductions which means international shipping should be part of countries’ National Determined Contributions (NDCs). We need to make sure parties make strong climate commitments at the COP26 Climate negotiations and for that Europe has to ensure shipping is fully integrated in any emissions reduction strategy.”
  • Hadewig Kras founder of citizens group ‘No dirty cruise ships in Antwerp’– “I come from Antwerp, one of the busiest ports in Europe. Last year over 15,000 Antwerpen citizens signed a petition calling for action on the pollution from ships. It’s time for the industry to pay for its pollution, not citizens. We need to make sure shipping is one of Europe’s Green Deal main priorities.”
  • Matt Mellen, Ecohustler – “The EU needs to sort its ships out. It’s not normal that shipping gets a free pass to pollute because regulators fail to address ships’ climate impact. So little has been done through the IMO to date, it’s urgent that Europe regulates shipping’s pollution.”
  • Captain Arjen van der Veen, Fairtransport Shipping – “Shipping is a major polluter because it’s not being properly regulated, it continues to burn untaxed dirty fuel and politicians are doing nothing to stop this. The polluters need to pay for the pollution and the money raised should be used to build clean ships. We’re ready to build zero emissions ships, we need regulators to push the market in that direction.”
  • Rene Visser, Member of XR Rotterdam - “We’re in a climate emergency, we should stop joking around and fix this problem. The IMO isn’t taking this seriously, they’re rejecting proposals to slow down ships, it is critical for Europe to take the lead and act now on shipping emissions”
Technology

Protesters create Arctic crime scene at international shipping summit

International Maritime Organization (IMO) challenged over Arctic pollution and climate emissions as delegates gather in London

Environmental campaigners from Extinction Rebellion, Ecohustler and other groups today called for urgent action to cut pollution in the Arctic from the global shipping industry. The International Maritime Organization’s week long Pollution Prevention & Response sub-committee (PPR7) meeting opened this morning at Albert Embankment, London.

All photos by Eoghan McDonaugh - @habitusinsight

As delegates, representing governments from around the world and the shipping industry, arrived for the meeting, they came face to face with activists urging them to act now to protect the fragile arctic marine environment. The activists created a dynamic "Arctic crime scene" outside the iconic IMO building.

Delegates arriving for the conference came face to face with a theatrical representation of the impacts of shipping in the Arctic and were handed crime scene notices. Banners read - Dirty ship fuels are climate crimes

and

IMO: Protect the Arctic, Ban dirty fuels.

Performers created an Arctic climate crime scene with white chalk outlines of Arctic animals, attended by black-clad funeral mourners. A smoking cargo ship art installation was trailed by thick black “oil”. A stranded polar bear, its habitat threatened by climate change, perched upon a melting iceberg sculpture, whilst a 10 metre-long banner deployed along the wall of the Thames read “Dirty ship fuels destroy the Arctic”.

Matt Mellen, an Ecohustler activist from Somerset, said:

“It’s crazy that these dirty, dangerous fuels are allowed anywhere. But to use them somewhere as fragile and precious as the Arctic beggars belief. The Arctic is changing faster than anywhere due to climate change - and what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. If world governments are serious about protecting this fragile environment, it can bring about a ban during this week’s meeting”

Roc Sandford, from Extinction Rebellion, said:

“Climate Change is already causing fires and floods around the world. This is an emergency, there are no good excuses for not acting now. We’re protesting here to make sure the delegates at this summit see what is at stake. We urge them to act to cut emissions and protect the environment.”

Technology

Two becomes three for shipping protest couple

Saint Valentine reigns supreme as pair who fell in love at demo set to return two years later, with baby, to help protect the arctic

In 2018, Darryn Sorensen-Brown from South Africa and Mada Abdel-Rahman from Palestine joined a group of performers who participated in the first ever demonstration outside the United Nations International Maritime Organisation (UN IMO) on London’s Southbank. The troupe of actors welcomed delegates to the conference and gave them flyers with information about climate change. Once all the delegates were in the building the actors lined the shore of the Thames. Behind them, giant reverse graffiti read -

IMO don’t sink Paris

referring to the implications for the Paris climate agreement if shipping doesn’t clean up its act and reduce its pollution.

Mada says -

“It was a great day being involved in the historic first demonstration outside the IMO. Some of the delegates were very supportive and pleased we were there. They shared our concerns about climate change and urged us on.”

Darryn says -

“Aside from the thrill of being involved in an important direct action it was amazing that this event brought Mada and I together. Since bedding down together the night of the demonstration we have never left each others side or spent a night apart. Now, we have had our little baby Zen.”

The shipping industry is a massive polluter. On land, emissions from industry are increasingly strictly regulated. Out on the open ocean ships still burn the dirtiest fuels driving climate change and ocean acidification. Where the ships come close to coastlines, a fog of air pollution harms communities. Air pollution from ships is linked to approximately 400,000 premature deaths from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease alone and around 14 million childhood asthma cases annually. These deaths are concentrated in East Asia, South Asia and Europe.

The UN IMO is the body that is supposed to regulate shipping. It stands accused of being corrupted by corporate interests and colluding with industry and Big Oil. In an extraordinary case of greenwash, ships have been burning new “frankenfuels” - claiming they are clean when actually they have been depositing black carbon on the arctic causing the ice to melt faster than ever.

Monday 17th of February the countries of the world are once again meeting at the iconic IMO building in London. This time the meeting is called PPR7 and delegates will be discussing pollution prevention and response. Once again, Ecohustler Online Magazine will be out on the streets calling for action to clean up the sector. This time, the maverick media company will also be joined by representatives from Extinction Rebellion. Increasingly the spotlight is on shipping to clean up its disproportionately harmful impact on the world.

It is the first Monday after Valentine's Day and so it is a poetic twist of fate that the the couple that got together outside the IMO two years previously are returning - this time with their baby.

Darryn says -

“When I hold my baby I feel such overwhelming love. I also fear for his future. If the arctic ice melts our planet loses a vital store of coolness. Once the ice goes runaway climate change may be unavoidable. We have to act now to stop our planet getting too hot.”

Mada says -

“I’m so proud of the little family we’ve created as a couple, as well as a group collectively standing together. We are returning to the UN IMO once again calling for the delegates and the whole institution to take action. All of our futures depend on it. I urge other people reading this article to come and join us on your way to work. The more people outside the building the stronger the message. We have to take action now before it is too late.”

You can join the action on Monday morning (17th February 2020 - 0800) outside the UN IMO in London. More information here -

https://www.facebook.com/events/947459912315359/