IMO green gathering points towards stricter regulations to come

IMO green gathering points towards stricter regulations to come — 2023-03-27

Maritime and Ports

The 14th Intersessional Working Group on Greenhouse Gases (ISWG GHG 14) met last week at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a loose stepping stone towards July’s 80th gathering of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC). While much was discussed, there were little signs of overarching agreement among delegates.

Particular attention was focused on levels of ambition, mid-term measures, the basket or combination of measures to be finalised and revision to IMO’s Data Collection System (DCS).

According to UK consultancy UMAS, two-thirds of those who spoke last week were clear that international shipping needed to reach zero GHG emissions by 2050. To help stimulate the uptake of new fuels, there was broad support for a fuel use target of 5% by 2030, albeit with no agreement on the subset of fuels this would be applied to. A majority of countries wanted a 2040 GHG reduction target to be defined, at a magnitude of GHG reduction in line with the 1.5 degree temperature goal set in the Paris Agreement of 2015. Nearly all countries who spoke want to see these reductions regulated by a technical element such as a fuel standard, and an economic element such as a carbon levy, with these policy measures designed to support the transition.

Guy Platten, the secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping, commented: “We are disappointed by the lack of progress on setting new levels of ambition for GHG reductions to provide shipping with a clear net zero target for 2050. But we remain optimistic that a deal can still be stuck at the crucial MEPC meeting in July.”

“We can only achieve our ambitious goals if we use all the tools at our disposal. Therefore, I am pleased that the majority of nations now recognize the need for both economic and technical measures in the forthcoming greenhouse gas strategy,” said Anne Steffensen, CEO of Danish Shipping.