IMO MEPC 73 Approves Follow-Up Actions for GHG Strategy

The International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73) approved on Monday, October 22 the follow-up program for IMO’s strategy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

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The strategy adopted in April 2018 aims to reduce the shipping industry’s emissions by at least 50 pct by 2050 compared to 2008.

The follow-up program  is intended to be used as a planning tool in meeting the timelines identified in the initial IMO strategy, which includes a range of candidate short-, mid- and long term measures yet to be considered.

Short-term measures could be finalized and agreed between 2018 and 2023; mid-term measures, between 2023 and 2030; and long-term measures, beyond 2030.

Feeding in to the process towards adoption of a revised Strategy in 2023 will be the data collection system on fuel oil consumption of ships over 5,000 gross tons, which begins on 1 January 2019; and a fourth IMO GHG study, to be initiated in the first half of 2019.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the program of follow up actions “sets a clear signal on how to further progress the matter of reduction of GHG emissions from ships up to 2023.”

“The planning exercise to implement the Initial Strategy up to 2023 is now behind us. It is time to take a step further. In looking at the agreed program of follow-up actions, I understand that you have a heavy workload ahead,” he said.

“I am convinced that, in re-doubling your efforts and with enhanced support from working arrangements, you will be able to deliver and even accelerate the pace of actions and tackle this immense and global challenge.”

The committee invited concrete proposals on candidate short-term measures to the next committee session, MEPC 74 (May 2019), for consideration, as well as on the procedure for assessing the impacts on states; and also on candidate mid/long-term measures to MEPC 74 and MEPC 75.

A working group is set to meet during the current MEPC session to discuss the scope of the planned Fourth IMO GHG Study. The working group is expected to report back to the plenary session at the end of the week.