IMO claims progress on GHG reductions

Nov 03 2017


Progress was claimed at the IMO’s second meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Ships held last month.

This included starting to shape a draft initial IMO GHG strategy, including refining the vision for the organisation, which will express its further commitment to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping.

While the structure of the strategy has been largely agreed, the detailed text to be included is still under discussion, the IMO reported.

A wide range of detailed proposals were put forward for inclusion in the draft initial strategy, including those relating to the vision, levels of ambition, guiding principles, candidate measures, barriers and supportive measures and follow up actions. The group agreed that the draft strategy should incorporate a process for its periodic review.

The group agreed that candidate short-term measures could be measures finalised and agreed by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) between 2018 and 2023; candidate mid-term measures could be measures finalised and agreed by the MEPC between 2023 and 2030; and candidate long-term measures could be measures finalised and agreed by the MEPC beyond 2030.

Dates of entry into force and when the measure can effectively start to reduce GHG emissions would be defined for each measure individually. The group supported the need for early action, the IMO said.

The group highlighted the need to carefully consider the potential impact of measures on states, particularly the least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS). The group also recognised the need to address barriers and provide supportive measures, including capacity building and technical co-operation; and research and development especially into alternative fuels.

The aim is to reach consensus at the next meeting.

IMO secretary general, Kitack Lim, said, “The working group made some considerable progress in bringing together the proposals for the different elements of the draft IMO GHG strategy. I am confident that member states will continue to work on this ahead of the next working group session, to build convergence so that the draft initial IMO GHG strategy can be adopted as planned at the next session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee in April, 2018.”

A report, along with other submissions, will go forward to the third Intersessional Working Group session, scheduled to meet 3rd-6th April, 2018, which is expected to finalise a draft initial IMO GHG strategy, to be put forward for adoption by MEPC 72 (9th-13th April, 2018).

This is in accordance with the timeline set out in the IMO’s roadmap for developing a comprehensive strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, which was approved at MEPC 70.



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