IMO makes progress on drawing GHG reduction road map

Written by Nick Blenkey
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OCTOBER 27, 2017 — The second meeting of IMO’s Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships has concluded, leaving member states with “much homework” according to the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA).

The working group is charged with the setting of a vision and a level of ambition for efforts to be made globally to reduce shipping’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

During this week’s negotiations, says the DMA, IMO has started to work out the specific contents of the strategy. Major outstanding issues continue to be how to specifically formulate the organization’s climate vision and level of ambition in this area. Hower, progress has been made on the consideration of specific reduction measures in the short, the medium and the long term, that may, among other things, result in stricter requirements for ships’ energy efficiency.

“I am pleased about the progress made in the negotiations during this week’s meeting in London,” said DMA Director General Andreas Nordseth. “We on the Danish side are still striving to reach an ambitious agreement on shipping’s contribution to reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The result of this week’s negotiations is a text with several different elements and possibilities as regards the vision, level of ambition and reduction measures. Individual member states will have to work on these elements prior to final negotiations in April 2018.


The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO represented the global shipping industry throughout this week’s discussions,

They say they are “broadly satisfied”with the progress made and that the proposals from the shipping industry on CO2 reduction objectives for the sector as a whole remain on the table, along with similar proposals from several IMO Member States.

The industry associations remain confident that IMO Member States will finalize a comprehensive CO2 reduction strategy for international shipping, at the next meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee in April 2018 that will fully match the ambition of the Paris Agreement on climate change. They will continue working with all IMO Member States and environmental NGOs to help achieve this shared objective.

The industry organizations proposed that the following objectives be adopted as part of the IMO Strategy.

Objective 1 – to maintain international shipping’s annual total CO2 emissions below 2008 levels;

Objective 2 – to reduce CO2 emissions per tonne-km, as an average across international shipping, by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008; and

Objective 3 – reduce international shipping’s total annual CO2 emissions by an agreed percentage by 2050, compared to 2008, as a point on a continuing trajectory of CO2 emissions reduction.”

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