Shipping sector pushes to keep emissions-tax cash for itself

(Climate Home News, 20 Mar 2024) Shipping negotiators for governments at UN talks this week want a proposed tax on the sector’s emissions to be spent mostly on cleaning up the industry – which could thwart international plans to use some of the money to address broader damage from climate change.

With rich countries failing to deliver promised amounts of their taxpayers’ money to help developing countries tackle warming, global attention has turned to so-called “innovative” sources of climate finance – like levies on ships, planes or fossil fuel firms – to make up the shortfall.

But at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations’ shipping arm, governments have made clear they want the bulk of the revenue from a shipping emissions levy to go towards making it cheaper and easier for companies to put clean fuel in their vessels.

Sitting in the 7th-floor boardroom of the IMO’s riverside London headquarters, Arsenio Dominguez, the IMO’s new head, said “we need to focus on shipping as a sector, as that is what we regulate and that’s where we need to focus the efforts”.

Asked if the money could go into a new UN fund to repair and reduce loss and damage from climate change, Dominguez told Climate Home: “That’s another UN agency – we have no remit there.” The fund, set up under UN climate change talks, is set to be hosted by the World Bank.

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Climate Home News, 20 Mar 2024: Shipping sector pushes to keep emissions-tax cash for itself