A group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have sent a letter to secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Kitack Lim, calling for urgent action in addressing shipping’s impact on the climate crisis.
In their letter to Mr Lim, the NGOs urge the IMO and other organisations to, “step forward with innovative policies and importantly, and it will require visionary leadership from many, including you.” They believe that while this will be tough, “the reward will be huge. A stable climate for future generations and the avoidance of countless deaths (not least of seafarers), economic disruption, infrastructure damage and stranded assets from climate change effects across the world.”
Calling on the IMO to become, “a beacon for ambitious leadership on climate,” the NGOs believe that as an international regulator, the IMO has a responsibility to act itself but to also help coordinate, share and drive the climate ambition of others.
The NGOs hope that by 2023, when Mr Lim’s tenure runs until and the date at which the IMO Initial Strategy and its goals will be reviewed and revised, that progress will have been made towards achieving decarbonisation of the global shipping fleet to meet the 2050 target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50 per cent from 2008.
While there is no single solution to solving the climate crisis, the NGOs recognise that regulatory actions at all levels, including by regions such as the European Union, by individual countries, and by ports is essential. They urge the IMO to work with, rather than against, all these disparate groups to encourage complementary efforts and higher ambition. “This will ensure that together the entire shipping sector becomes a trailblazer for climate action; a sector that can be considered a model of climate leadership.”