IMO, Germany team up to cut shipping emissions in Asia

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Germany have teamed up on a project to identify opportunities and solutions to prevent and cut transport emissions in Asia.

Illustration; Credit: IMO

As informed, the IMO and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany (BMU) recently signed an agreement to undertake the preparatory activities leading to the development of a project proposal to reduce maritime transport emissions in East and Southeast Asian countries.

The project is supported through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of BMU. IMO will partner with the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) to undertake the preparatory project and to develop the full project proposal.

Photo: IMO

Signed on 1 April 2021, the agreement is said to be the first step in an ambitious Asia Maritime Transport Emissions project (known as the Blue Solutions Project) that aims to support East and Southeast Asian countries in identifying opportunities to prevent and reduce transport emissions.

The full-size project, once approved, will target reduction of GHG and other pollutant emissions from ships within ports, and from hinterland transport through energy efficiency improvements, optimized processes and innovative technologies.

“Partnerships are essential in tackling the global issue of emissions which are harmful to the environment. By identifying opportunities to reduce maritime transport emissions and demonstrating potential technological solutions in partnerships with various stakeholders in the region, this project will help developing countries in Asia to move closer towards a low-carbon future,” Jose Matheickal, Chief of the Department of Partnerships and Projects, IMO, commented.

“We thank Germany for this very timely support and look forward to working with the partner countries and potential other partners from public and private sector to develop and design a full-size project proposal which we hope to submit to Germany for approval by end of this year.”

Specifically, the agreement confirms the allocation of EUR 385,697 in funds to develop a full-size project proposal. This will involve information gathering and project design activities to align the aims of the project with those of regional and national stakeholders.

In addition to undertaking a comprehensive technical, financial and economic analysis of the proposed project, the project proposal will also identify capacity development and knowledge management aspects, as well as assessment of GHG emission baselines. Opportunities for pilot demonstration projects to advocate for potential of low carbon shipping, ports and hinterland transport will also be identified.

At the preparatory stage, IMO will work with focus partner countries including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam to develop the full-size project proposal.

Efforts may also be undertaken to identify capacity building needs in other Asian countries. Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore are expected to be invited to serve as knowledge partner countries and their level of involvement in the project will be identified and confirmed during the appraisal stage, according to IMO.

The full-size Asia Maritime Transport Emissions Project, which is slated to receive funding of some EUR 15 million, is one of several IMO-led initiatives designed to support the developing countries in the implementation of IMO Initial GHG strategy.