The Paris climate change agreement and the regulation of international maritime transportation

Oppong, Abigail (2018) The Paris climate change agreement and the regulation of international maritime transportation. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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International maritime transport is a significant source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly CO₂. As such, it is a substantial contributor to global warming. The sector’s share of CO₂ is expected to increase considerably if efforts are not made to limit its contribution of GHG emissions. This issue has been on the international climate change regulatory agenda for over two decades now. Nonetheless, the regulation of emissions from international maritime transport is visibly absent in the 2015 landmark Paris Agreement. This thesis attempts to understand the reasons for the non-regulation of international shipping under the Paris agreement. To understand the reasons for the situation, three questions were asked: 1. What is the history of the debate around the inclusion or exclusion of the regulation of the international maritime transport in the international climate regime prior to the Paris Agreement? 2. What has been the role of International Maritime Organization (IMO) in regulating emissions from international maritime transport? 3. What are the driving factors for the exclusion of the regulation of maritime transportation within the Paris Agreement and who are the actors involved? Using a qualitative content analysis of secondary data collected predominantly from online databases and websites, the thesis revealed that the domestic economic and political interest of China, US, and India were the main contributing factors for the non-regulation of international shipping under the Paris climate change agreement. This was facilitated by their structural positions in international politics. These parties exploited the complexities in allocating international shipping emissions to parties to advance their domestic interests. Again, it was discovered that the adoption of secret meetings with powerful actors to achieve tradeoffs on contentious issues among actors, which shrouded the negotiation process augmented the ability of these nations to exert their influence. Hence, this thesis argues that parties’ domestic interests play an important role in shaping international regulations. This argument represents an empirical contribution that advances the field of international environmental regulations by showing how powerful domestic economic and political interests shape agreements at the global level.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13545
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 91-103).
Keywords: Climate change, International climate change regime, Paris Agreement, International maritime transport, International shipping, Regulation
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Policy Institute
Date: September 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992 May 9). Protocols, etc. (2015 December 12); Climatic changes--Government policy; Shipping--Environmental aspects.

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