BIMCO asks for realistic GDP projections from IMO

Shipping owner association BIMCO has asked that the next IMO Greenhouse Gas Study not include what BIMCO described as “unrealistically high” gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections to predict future transport demand – and therefore emissions – of the shipping industry.

BIMCO Deputy Secretary General Lars Robert Pedersen said that it was “imperative that the industry – and the world – base discussions and actions to reduce emissions from shipping on credible and realistic projections. If not, we risk making the wrong decisions and spending resources ineffectively,”

BIMCO’s proposal has been made to the expert workshop preparing for the study, which is meeting in London from March 12th to 14th.

BIMCO wants that the Fourth IMO GHG Study to avoid scenarios 1 and 5 of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP), as these scenarios projected considerably higher and unrealistic short- to mid-term economic growth than current economic trends and OECD projections.

Pedersen said that “the previous study’s most pessimistic projection of a 250% increase in CO2 emissions from shipping has since proven to be totally unrealistic, given the actual and projected economic development of the world. Unfortunately, the 250% projection has frequently been used as a stick against the shipping industry and to shape regional policy. BIMCO wants to avoid that happening again”.

Lower transport work projections have recently been supported by two other studies: the “Energy Transition Outlook 2018: Maritime Forecast to 2050” by DNV-GL and “Transport 2040 – Automation, Technology and Employment – The Future of Work” by the World Maritime University.

Both studies have decoupled the correlation between the growth in GDP and transport demand after 2030, and both studies have arrived at projections well below the BIMCO/CE Delft recalculation of the Third GHG Study. BIMCO also suggested that the IMO expert workshop take the decoupling of GDP growth and transport work into consideration.