Ports welcome IMO GHG deal

IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim said the adoption of the strategy was another successful illustration of the renowned IMO spirit of cooperation

"The initial strategy agreed by MEPC 72 is the first of its kind, not only because it goes well beyond the Paris Agreement with the introduction of quantitative targets, but also because, in doing so, shipping becomes the first industry to adopt such concrete global goals for the reduction of its total GHG emissions".

Suggested measures that ports can take to help facilitate the shipping industry in reducing its GHG emissions include provision of ship and onshore power supply from renewable sources, infrastructure to support supply of alternative low and zero-carbon fuels and optimisation of logistics chain planning.

The strategy's targets are not binding, and the MEPC has characterised the document as a framework that demonstrates the level of ambition across the IMO's member states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Meeting the GHG target means that in the 2030s most newly built ocean-going vessels will run on zero carbon renewable fuels. There were objections from Argentina and Brazil, nations whose dependence on long-distance shipping for trade purposes arguably exposes them to a heavier penalty than most, with respect to emissions targets.


In Brussels, the European Commission hailed the deal as "a significant step forward" in the global effort to tackle climate change.

While the European Union had sought a higher level of ambition, the Commission said the deal was "a good starting point that will allow for further review and improvements over time". This working group will be tasked with developing a programme of follow-up actions to the Initial Strategy; further considering how to progress reduction of GHG emissions from ships in order to advise the committee; and reporting to the next session of the MEPC (MEPC 73), which meets 22-26 October 2018. "Without these, the goals of the Paris agreement will remain out of reach".

John Maggs, President of the Clean Shipping Coalition and senior policy advisor, Seas At Risk, said, "We have an important agreement, and this level of ambition will ultimately require a sector-wide shift to new fuels and propulsion technologies, but what happens next is crucial".

Now that the initial strategy has been finalized, IMO will consider which, if any, of the short-term measures should be made mandatory. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

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