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It's possible — but difficult — to halve shipping emissions, official says

  • "Ambitions for 50 percent reduction by 2050 are definitely difficult, but it's achievable. And now we have a situation where we really have to start with developing green shipping that we need for the future," Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen said.

An agreement to cut the shipping industry's greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent — from 2008 levels — by 2050 will not be easy, but it can be done, a Norwegian minister said.

"Ambitions for 50 percent reduction by 2050 are definitely difficult, but it's achievable. And now we have a situation where we really have to start with developing green shipping that we need for the future," Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen said.

The International Maritime Organization's decision on this agreement will be in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, he said.

Although it has traditionally been difficult to agree on a universal method to measure emissions in the huge and diverse shipping and aviation industry, Elvestuen said that will be worked on.

Adelie penguins stand atop a block of melting ice on a rocky shoreline at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, in East Antarctica.
Pauline Askin | Reuters
Adelie penguins stand atop a block of melting ice on a rocky shoreline at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, in East Antarctica.

Countries should begin taking steps to reduce emissions however, as climate change becomes more pressing.

"Climate change and global warming is much more costly not to do anything, so what we really have to do is to start this change and start it right now," the minister said. He added that to achieve this goal, countries, organizations, and even local communities must be mobilized.