According to the 2019 report Canada’s Changing Climate Report (CCCR) commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canada’s annual average temperature over land has warmed by 1.7 degrees celsius since 1948. The rate of warming is even higher in Canada’s North, in the Prairies and northern British Columbia.
Across Canada we are experiencing less snow and ice cover, thinning glaciers, warming and more acidic oceans, and rising sea levels. These changes are threatening the health of marine ecosystems and the shipping industry recognizes its impact and continues to embrace new measures to combat climate change globally and regionally.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been working on GHG emissions from ships for well over a decade. International shipping was the first industry to adopt measures with respect to such emissions at a global sectoral level, consisting mainly of technical (energy efficiency), operational (vessel management) and more recently fuel-related measures.
IMO has established emission reduction targets whereby in 2025 all new ships will be 30 percent more energy efficient than those built in 2014, and by 2050 the industry expects to see a 50 percent reduction in GHG compared to 2008 levels.
Short and mid-term candidate measures for further reducing carbon emissions are still in discussion at the IMO but generally these focus on operational efficiencies, fuel alternatives and route optimization. Ports are collaborating on incentives for early adopters of voluntary measures.
Ship construction and design continues to evolve and ship owners are contemplating various measures to achieve the climate change targets.