Slow Progress at IMO on Shipping GHG Emission Cuts

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday June 17, 2021

At the end of a week-long Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting at the IMO, further progress has been made on greenhouse gas emission cuts but at a pace that will disappoint many both within and outside of the shipping industry.

The UN body's committee adopted amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, initially agreed by a working group last year, to bring in binding short-term measures from the start of 2023 that hold ships to both operational and technical carbon intensity requirements as a means of reducing their emissions. 

A review of the EECI and CII certifications agreed to this week will be carried out by the end of 2025 at the latest. The plan envisages carbon intensity cuts of 11% relative to 2019's level by 2026.

"The path to decarbonization is a long, but also a common path in which we need to consider and respect each other's views," Kitack Lim, secretary general of the IMO, said at the end of Thursday's session.

"Your progress will continue to provide the benefit of experience to be able to make ambitious, and evidence-based decisions for phase 3 of the implementation of the operational measure which will be further strengthened and developed taking into account the review of the short-term measure and the latest climate science."

The MEPC meeting also adopted a work plan for progress on GHG measures with the following three stages:

  • Phase I - Collation and initial consideration of proposals for measures (Spring 2021 to spring 2022)
  • Phase II - Assessment and selection of measures(s) to further develop (Spring 2022 to spring 2023)
  • Phase III – Development of(a) measure(s) to be finalized within (an) agreed target date(s)