Several meetings at the IMO headquarters in London have been postponed indefinitely. Image Credit: Ship & Bunker
Environmental groups have written an open letter to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) asking the UN body to continue with its meetings in a digital-only format to ensure the COVID-19 pandemic does not derail its decarbonisation targets.
Last week's scheduled meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) that sets emissions regulations for shipping was postponed indefinitely in March, along with various other meetings due to be held at the IMO's headquarters in London.
"We write today to request your personal assurance that IMO's efforts to achieve its Initial GHG Strategy and phase out of GHG emissions from international shipping consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals will not be delayed, despite the postponement of this MEPC," representatives from the Clean Shipping Coalition, Greenpeace, Pacific Environment and WWF wrote in an open letter to the IMO Monday.
"In particular, the IMO Initial Strategy goal of actions to achieve additional substantial CO2 reduction before 2023 should remain unchanged."
The groups called for the IMO to set up a digital working group to advance short-term GHG measure negotiations, and to commit to holding the 75th MEPC meeting sometime before October in a digital format if necessary, and to hold its sequel within a year.