Taking the slow route to decarbonisation? Developing climate governance for international transport

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Despite their significant, growing contribution to global emissions, international aviation and shipping have avoided a significant climate governance response until recently. This paper outlines the urgent need for, but major barriers to, decarbonisation of these industries, including various market failures and sensitivities over restraining demand. The need and potential for international governance to address these issues is seen to vary across aviation and shipping, given different industry structures and characteristics. A range of relevant inter- and transnational governance institutions is highlighted and an assessment of their overall adequacy offered. With a 2018 commitment to significant emission reduction, maritime governance effort has progressed further, although significant implementation challenges remain. Meanwhile aviation-related commitments rely more on out-of-sector offsets. Options for enhancing governance for decarbonisation are outlined, highlighting the importance of, inter alia, coordination between the UNFCCC and sectoral bodies, mechanisms to finance R&D and incentivise investment, and openness in key decision-making fora.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100100
JournalEarth System Governance
Early online date11 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

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