Meat & Livestock News

Global Strategy on Shipping Emissions

TL;DR: ExportNZ advocates for international agreements on shipping emissions to avoid redundant charges, aligning with global efforts under the Paris Agreement and practices in the EU and other nations.

International Cooperation Preferred

ExportNZ’s advocacy director, Catherine Beard, asserts that managing carbon emissions from shipping should involve an international agreement. This approach avoids the complications of regional or national regulations, which may lead to redundant measures.

The Issue of Double Charging

Beard emphasises the risk of “double dipping” — where charges could be duplicated if New Zealand considers local emissions charges. A global strategy would prevent these overlaps.

Climate Change Commission’s Inclusion Proposal

This week, the Climate Change Commission suggested including emissions from air travel and shipping in New Zealand’s environmental assessments for 2036-40. This includes evaluating the impact on various sectors.

EU’s Current Practices

The European Union already accounts for emissions from ships docking at its member states’ ports. This action suggests a move towards broader accountability in maritime activities.

New Zealand’s Position

Research from Lincoln University highlights that New Zealand’s shipping emissions are comparatively low, given the efficiency of its large shipping volumes and vessel sizes.

Industry Leaders’ Views

Zespri’s sustainability officer, Rachel Depree, notes that shipping represents a significant part of New Zealand’s trade, both by volume and value. The kiwifruit industry, for example, records low emissions per kilogram of product, though shipping contributes 43% of this total.

Zespri aims to enhance shipping efficiency and transition to low-emission fuels, targeting a carbon positive status by 2035. However, direct influence over shipping emissions is limited.

Fonterra’s Proactive Measures

Fonterra includes shipping emissions in its sustainability reports, though these represent only a small fraction of its overall emissions.

Dairy Industry Concerns

DairyNZ’s corporate affairs manager, Nick Robinson, expresses concerns about incorporating international shipping and aviation emissions into domestic targets without further analysis, particularly regarding potential costs to farmers.

Academic Insight

Massey University’s Robert McLachlan points out that New Zealand’s aviation emissions are nearing pre-pandemic levels and increasing. Including these emissions in the 2050 targets aligns with global efforts under the Paris Agreement and similar initiatives by other nations.