IMO approves extra steps to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions
As part of efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry, the United Nations shipping agency accepted on Tuesday steps to improve energy efficiency in vessels, a UN spokeswoman said.
At this week's virtual Marine Environment Security Committee session of the International Maritime Organization, countries accepted additional legislation to minimize the carbon intensity of commercial ships.
"The IMO has decided that emissions can keep on growing for 10 years at least. Their complacency is breathtaking," John Maggs of the Clean Shipping Coalition stated.
Green groups opposed the approval, arguing it would cause the shipping sector's share of emissions to continue to grow over the next decade, while reducing global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius requires greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in line with the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
Measures aimed at reducing the carbon intensity of existing vessels add to the already negotiated legislation on energy efficiency for new vessels and seek to reduce the carbon intensity of foreign shipping by 40% by 2030 relative to 2008 levels.
The IMO has announced that it intends to reduce ships' total greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050 from 2008 levels, but is under pressure to intensify action. Shipping officials have also said that to achieve the 2050 goals, the industry must act now.
IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim claimed that it is of vital importance that the IMO continues to enforce the initial GHG strategy through concrete steps."
About 90% of world trade is transported by sea. Carbon emissions from shipping accounted for 2.9 percent of the world's CO2 in the six-year stretch to 2018, the new IMO-commissioned report showed in August.
It is expected that the next MEPC session, scheduled for June 2021, will formally implement the new steps.
Maritime Business World