IMO’S Revised GHG Strategy Could Potentially Speed Up Reduction Targets

Credit: Ian Taylor/Unsplash

IMO’s initial GHG strategy will be revised and adopted at MEPC80 in July, potentially speeding up carbon intensity and GHG reduction targets.

Revised Strategy

When delegates gather for MEPC 80 in July, they will adopt revisions to the initial IMO GHG strategy, likely dramatically strengthening emissions reductions, adding intermediate targets and revisiting the uptake of zero- and near-zero carbon GHG emission fuels, according to an IRI/The Marshall Islands Registry executive. Representing the world’s third-largest maritime registry, Mr Dias spoke of the significance of accelerating action on reducing ship emissions for his clients and the nation of the Marshall Islands. “Climate change and decarbonisation are very relevant topics to the Marshall Islands, as it is an island chain in the Pacific,” he said.

To set the stage for his presentation, Mr Dias provided an historical perspective on the development of Marpol Annex VI, which was introduced in 1997 to address air pollution prevention requirements for ships. “At that time, MEPC was invited to consider CO2 reduction strategies which might be feasible, and also work with the UN on studies on CO2 emissions from ships,” he explained. In 2014, IMO adopted the third GHG study. “This gave us some indication of the GHG emissions from international shipping, which accounted for about 2.2% of CO2 emissions [at the time]”, he said. In 2016, IMO moved ahead with the data collection system (DCS) for fuel oil consumption on ships above 5,000 gross tonnes — which account for about 85% of CO2 emissions from international shipping.

Phased Approach To EEDI

While container ships, LNG carriers and general cargo ships had to comply with EEDI Phase 3 requirements for energy efficiency starting in 2022, others, such as refrigerated cargo ships, roro passenger ships and vehicle carriers, will not have to meet those requirements until 2025. The levels for GHG reductions in the initial strategy were for a target of a 40% reduction of carbon intensity across international shipping to be achieved by 2030. In 2050, this increases to a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions per transport work, and a reduction in GHG emissions by 50% by 2050. “This figure we have to watch out for in the revision,” he warned.

Other discussions at ISWG-GHG 14 addressed strengthening current pollutant reduction targets, which might lower carbon and GHG intensity by 40-65% by 2030 compared to 2008. The uptake of low- and zero-carbon fuels is also being considered.  Concluded Mr Dias: “At the Intersessional Working Group GHG 14, most of the delegations were in agreement that we need to stress high levels of ambition and give this clear direction to the industry,  acknowledging that there will be some supporting measures that will be needed and developed to ensure a just and equitable transition, leaving no one behind…”

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Source: Rivieramm