IMO sets first industry wide emissions strategy

Marshall Islands Minister of Environment David Paul

And GHG emissions from global shipping are to peak as soon as possible with the total annual GHG emissions reduced by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while pursuing efforts to phase them on a pathway of Carbon dioxide emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

Meeting the GHG target means that in the 2030s most newly built ocean-going vessels will run on zero carbon renewable fuels.

"If you are building a ship or planning to build a ship in the 2020s, it will likely need to be able to switch to non-fossil fuels later in its life, a factor insurers and shipping financiers will need to consider in their business plans through the next decade".

He added "The agreed IMO objective of cutting the sector's total GHG emissions by at least 50% before 2050, as part of a continuing pathway for further reduction, is very ambitious indeed, especially when account is taken of current projections for trade growth as the world's population and levels of prosperity continue to increase".

But opposition from some countries - including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Panama - limited what could be achieved at the IMO session last week in London.

While the European Union had sought a higher level of ambition, the Commission said the deal was "a good starting point that will allow for further review and improvements over time".

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Expectations are that over the next few years this target will be tightened and brought closer in line with the Paris Agreement commitments.

INTERCARGO welcomes the landmark initial strategy for the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) from ships adopted by IMO.

Worldwide shipping now emits as much as the sixth-largest global emitter.

This equates to the global shipping industry as being the sixth biggest polluter in country-based global terms. "Without these the goals of the Paris agreement will remain out of reach", he warned.

"This is the initial strategy, the final strategy isn't due until 2023".

The IMO Member States, representing both developed and developing countries, had the responsibility of agreeing on the high-level GHG emissions reduction strategy at IMO, comprising a Vision, Levels of Ambition and Guiding Principles, in what continues as an on-going process; this is not an easy task, as for one thing at least their representatives should not fail to take into account the safety and practical issues affecting ships and any potential impact of the commitments they make on global trade. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

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