Class and Statutory News
Adoption by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of an initial strategy on reduction of Green House Gases emissions at MEPC 72
Apr. 13 2018
Adoption by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of an initial strategy on reduction of Green House Gases emissions - 13th of April, 2018
Convention : MARPOL Annex VI Air Pollution
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Adoption by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of an initial strategy on reduction of Green House Gases emissions
13th of April, 2018
The Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships has been adopted today by the 72th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee.
The Initial Strategy is aimed at enhancing IMO's contribution to global efforts by addressing GHG emissions from international shipping, and identifying actions to be implemented by the international shipping sector, as appropriate
It is the first milestone set out in the Roadmap for developing a comprehensive IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships (the Roadmap) approved at MEPC 70.
In 2015, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Paris Agreement with the long-term goal of keeping the temperature increase well-below 2°C and pursuing efforts to 1.5°C by achieving the GHG balance in the second half of this century.
Accordingly, nearly 200 countries, including developing countries, have already submitted their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) or intended NDCs (INDCs). In the international aviation sector, which is not addressed by the Paris Agreement, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted the global target of improving the efficiency by 2% every year and maintaining the emission volume below the 2020 level.
International shipping was the sole sector having no GHG emissions reduction target so far.
The initial IMO Strategy includes levels of ambition with specific GHG emissions reduction targets for international shipping.
Levels of ambition directing the Initial Strategy are as follows:
2. carbon intensity of international shipping to decline, through reducing CO2 emissions per transport work, as an average across international shipping, by at least 40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70% by 2050, compared to 2008 ;
3. GHG emissions from international shipping to peak and decline as soon as possible and reduction of the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% (taking into account an increase of sea transportation) by 2050 compared to 2008
The principles guiding the Initial Strategy include the need to be cognizant of the principles enshrined in instruments already developed, such as the principle of non-discrimination and the principle of no more favourable treatment, enshrined in MARPOL and other IMO conventions; but also the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, enshrined in UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.
A list of candidate short-, mid- and long-term further measures with possible timelines and their impacts on states to reach the objectives aforementioned has been addressed but is subject to further work from the IMO at its coming meetings.
Possible short-term measures could be finalized and agreed by the MEPC between 2018 and 2023.
The measures evocated are, a.o :
Possible mid-term measures could be finalized and agreed by the MEPC between 2023 and 2030, long term ones beyond 2030.
The Roadmap identifies that a revised Strategy is to be adopted in 2023.
It can be noted that some countries (Chile, Argentina for instance), originally reluctant, have joined the consensus achieved by the MEPC 72.
Main flag states have agreed to this initial strategy (Marshall Islands, Bahamas, Liberia, whereas only few countries have expressed global (Saudi Arabia, United-States) or partial (Brazil) reservations.