Marshall Islands Calls for New Global Target to Cut Shipping Emissions

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday April 21, 2015

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (Marshall Islands) Monday issued an emailed press release calling for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to set a new global target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the international shipping industry.

"While the sector currently contributes only 3 percent of global emissions, its projected growth is a real cause for concern," said Marshall Islands' Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tony de Brum.

"Without urgent action," de Brum's statement continued, "it is estimated that the sector could soon account for between 6 and 14 percent of global emissions – as much as the entire European Union emits today."

According the release, de Brum intends to present a submission to the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in London in May of 2015, requesting the IMO to set new emissions targets for shipping.

"We are an island nation and shipping is one of our lifelines – we cannot survive without it. At the same time, carbon emissions, including those from shipping, pose an existential threat to our people and our country," stated de Brum.

While the Marshall Islands holds the third largest shipping registry in the world, de Brum said the actions of one or a even small group of registries alone "will not be enough."

"Ships these days can jump easily from flag to flag to avoid tougher standardsm" he said.

"Cleaning up this global industry requires a global approach."

The IMO is set to review fuel efficiency standards for new ships at an MEPC meeting in May of 2015.

In October of 2014, NGOs called on the MEPC not to go ahead with plans to restrict access to its energy efficiency design index (EEDI) data.