Adoption of the initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG Emissions from ships
22 May 2018 | C18020
The vision set out in the Initial Strategy confirms IMO’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and, as a matter of urgency, to phasing them out as soon as possible in this century.
Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Flag Administrations | GHG Emissions Verifiers/ Validators
The IMO has been considering actions to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships engaged in international trade. Through MEPC 72 the Committee adopted resolution MEPC.304(72) on Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships.
This Initial Strategy is the latest action taken by the IMO to address GHG emissions from ships and existing activity related to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping is set out in annex 2 of MEPC.304(72).
The Initial Strategy is aimed at:
- enhancing IMO’s contribution to global efforts by addressing GHG emissions from international shipping. International efforts in addressing GHG emissions include the Paris Agreement and its goals and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDG 13: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”;
- identifying actions to be implemented by the international shipping sector, as appropriate, while addressing impacts on States and recognizing the critical role of international shipping in supporting the continued development of global trade and maritime transport services; and
- identifying actions and measures, as appropriate, to help achieve the above objectives, including incentives for research and development and monitoring of GHG emissions from international shipping.
Levels of ambition
Subject to amendment depending on reviews to be conducted by the IMO, the Initial Strategy identifies levels of ambition for the international shipping sector noting that technological innovation and the global introduction of alternative fuels and/or energy sources for international shipping will be integral to achieve the overall ambition. The reviews should take into account updated emission estimates, emissions reduction options for international shipping, and the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as relevant.
Levels of ambition directing the Initial Strategy are as follows:
- carbon intensity of the ship to decline through implementation of further phases of the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) for new ships to review with the aim to strengthen the energy efficiency design requirements for ships with the percentage improvement for each phase to be determined for each ship type, as appropriate;
- carbon intensity of international shipping to decline to reduce CO2emissions per transport work, as an average across international shipping, by at least 40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70% by 2050, compared to 2008; and
- GHG emissions from international shipping to peak and decline to peak GHG emissions from international shipping as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 whilst pursuing efforts towards phasing them out as called for in the Vision as a point on a pathway of CO2emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals.
Candidate measures set out in this Initial Strategy should be consistent with the following timelines:
- possible short-term measures could be measures finalized and agreed by the Committee between 2018 and 2023. Dates of entry into force and when the measure can effectively start to reduce GHG emissions would be defined for each measure individually;
- possible mid-term measures could be measures finalized and agreed by the Committee between 2023 and 2030. Dates of entry into force and when the measure can effectively start to reduce GHG emissions would be defined for each measure individually; and
- possible long-term measures could be measures finalized and agreed by the Committee beyond 2030. Dates of entry into force and when the measure can effectively start to reduce GHG emissions would be defined for each measure individually.
In aiming for early action, the timeline for short-term measures should prioritize potential early measures that the IMO could develop, while recognizing those already adopted, including MARPOL Annex VI requirements relevant for climate change, with a view to achieve further reduction of GHG emissions from international shipping before 2023. Certain mid- and long-term measures will require work to commence prior to 2023.
These timelines should be revised as appropriate as additional information becomes available.
Short-, mid- and long-term further measures to be included in the Revised IMO GHG Strategy should be accompanied by implementation schedules.
The list of candidate measures is non-exhaustive and is without prejudice to measures the Organization may further consider and adopt.
To the timeline below shows the key stages for the adoption of a Revised IMO GHG Strategy in 2023 as set out in the Roadmap.
The Initial IMO Strategy is subject to revision based on DCS data during 2019-2021 and does not prejudge any specific further measures that may be implemented in Phase 3 of the three-step approach.
Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators should take into consideration the Revised Strategy to be adopted in Spring 2023, which shall be subject to a review five years after its final adoption.
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