Shippers call for speed regulation in support of emissions cut

Shippers call for speed regulation in support of emissions cut

107 shipping companies including Safe Bulkers, Arklow Shipping, Chartworld Shipping Corporation and seven environmental groups have signed a letter to the IMO calling on its member states to urgently address climate change by regulating global ship speeds across different ship sizes and categories.

The letter confirms a preference from the signatories to set maximum annual average speeds for container ships, and maximum absolute speeds for the remaining ship types, which take account of minimum speed requirements. The shipping companies urge for such a regulation to be implemented as soon as possible, with the obligation for compliance placed both on shipowners and operators, including charterers.

In April 2018, several member states of the IMO agreed on an Initial greenhouse gas (GHG) Strategy for international shipping. The strategy calls for shipping emissions to peak as soon as possible, for shipping’s carbon intensity to be reduced by at least 40 per cent by 2030 and for total emissions to be cut by at least 50 per cent by 2050 compared to 2008, while aiming for full decarbonisation. New operational measures will need to be implemented for both the existing fleet and new ships and immediate reductions achieved by 2023.

Since the April 2018 agreement, several candidate measures have been proposed including speed regulation for all ships. Recent history shows that reducing the global fleet’s operational speed after the 2008 economic crash led to dramatic reductions in GHG emissions. However, recent studies also suggest that ships are speeding up again as global demand recovers. If this trend continues, any GHG gains from slow steaming over recent years will disappear.

In light of this, 107 shipping companies and seven environmental groups have signed a document that indicated their initial support of the proposed speed regulation concept. The letter signals a call to all Parties at the forthcoming Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) MEPC 74, held 13-17 May, 2019 to support this move.

Please follow this link to view the full list of SIGNATORIES