In a major development, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed on stricter energy efficiency targets for certain types of ships in an effort to speed up action to cut the sector’s emissions, reports CNBC.
The backdrop of this measure
An earlier Reuters report highlighted how the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee has been meeting in London this month to discuss tougher rules on sulfur emissions and other measures toward meeting a long-term goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.
Why is it needed?
The international shipping sector accounts for about 2% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.
Mandatory Targets for New Ships?
Under its Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), the IMO set mandatory targets for new ships on the maximum amount of CO2 emissions allowed for different vessel types and sizes to provide the same amount of transportation.
50% more efficient?
A draft of the agreement shows that new container ships will now be required to be up to 50% more efficient by 2022, compared with the previous target of up to 30% more efficient by 2025.
New general cargo ships, gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers and hybrid diesel-electric cruise ships will also have to be up to 30 percent more efficient by 2022.
“Your work in this session has strengthened the energy efficiency framework,” IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim told delegates in London.
How will it help?
The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) said the move could reduce CO2 emissions by about 750 million tonnes from 2022 to 2050, equating to around 2% of all emissions from international shipping over that period.
“The IMO’s decision to move up and tighten energy efficiency targets for some new ships is a modest but necessary step to combat climate change,” said Dan Rutherford, ICCT’s marine program director.
Stricter Goals Needed
However, some environmental campaigners said the target is already being beaten by some of the most efficient ships being built today and stricter goals should be set.
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