This week, members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) concluded the 76th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), and agreed to start considering measures that would directly address shipping’s carbon emissions and support the deployment of sustainable alternative fuels.
The Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands proposed a $100/mt global carbon price for the shipping industry, which has been taken up for in-depth discussion and development at the next Intersessional Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Reduction in October.
The issue of how to account for the lifecycle of alternative fuels for shipping will be tackled in September. In addition, the IMO states agreed to suspend discussions of a counter-productive proposal on R&D support which would only use up valuable IMO resources, reported the Environmental Defense Fund.
Amendments were made to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI that will require ships to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These amendments combine technical and operational approaches to improve the energy efficiency of ships, also providing important building blocks for future GHG reduction measures.
Mandatory goal-based technical and operational measures to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping include:
- The Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), applicable from the first annual, intermediate or renewal IAPP survey after 1 January 2023
- The enhanced Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan(SEEMP), whereby an approved SEEMP needs to be kept onboard from1 January 2023
- The operational Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) rating scheme, taking effect from 1 January 2023
“There is a lot to look forward from the IMO to in the months to come, although the lack of ambition on short term measures and on black carbon means that the impact of future measures must be even bolder and implemented quicker to reduce maritime shipping emissions at the scale needed. The world must meet the temperature goals set by the Paris Agreement in order to prevent a climate catastrophe. The IMO meetings later this year are a great and timely opportunity for the Member States to step up and bring concrete, ambitious solutions to reduce the shipping industry’s climate impacts.” said Aoife O’Leary, director of International Climate at the Environmental Defense Fund.