IMO updates UN Climate Change conference on GHG emissions strategy

Ahead of the potentially game-changing 80th meeting of its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) recently gave an update on the current status of its revised Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from shipping at a United Nations climate change conference in Bonn.

As previously reported, MEPC 80 will take place on 3-7 July, following a meeting of the Intersessional GHG Working Group (26-30 June). MEPC 80 has been described as ‘crucial’ by all sides of the maritime community – from Kitack Lim and Guy Platten, respectively the Secretary-Generals of the IMO and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), to academics like Dr Tristan Smith of London University’s UMAS – because it is expected to see the adoption of the revised GHG strategy.

In a statement submitted to the 58th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 58), IMO Technical Officer Camille Bourgeon summarised the mandatory energy efficiency regulations already adopted by IMO and also gave an overview of ongoing maritime decarbonisation programmes. These include: the GreenVoyage2050 pilot projects, the Fuel Fuels and Technology for low- and zero-carbon shipping project (FFT); and the IMO Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping (IMO CARES).

The IMO submission to SBSTA said that it is ‘accelerating its efforts to decarbonise the shipping sector as soon as possible’ through a number of ‘parallel tracks’. Alongside the finalisation of the revised GHG strategy at MEPC 80, the IMO said, these include: developing a basket of mid-term GHG reduction measures; the finalisation of new guidelines on the life cycle GHG intensity of marine fuels; the development of a safety regulatory framework for handling future marine fuels onboard ships; and the scaling up of technical cooperation and capacity-building initiatives to support shipping decarbonisation in developing countries.

Click here to access the IMO submission to SBSTA 58.

Image: Shutterstock

Ian Taylor