Ahead of next week’s critical meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70) at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, the global shipping industry has called on IMO Member States to give serious consideration to a joint industry submission regarding the need for further progress on addressing the sector’s CO2 emissions.
The joint industry submission (made by BIMCO, International Chamber of Shipping, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO and World Shipping Council) represents a unified response from the shipping industry to the Paris Agreement on climate change, which entered into force on 5 October.
The joint industry submission calls on IMO Member States to finalize the adoption of a global CO2 data collection system for international shipping, as a precursor to the consideration of possible next steps to address the sector’s CO2 emissions.
Such steps could then build on the existing IMO mandatory agreement on technical and operational measures to reduce shipping’s CO2, which entered into force worldwide in 2013 – the first global agreement of its kind to be established outside of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In particular, the industry associations will be requesting MEPC 70 to agree to develop a roadmap which would include a timeline for the completion of this important work, which the submission describes – although the industry is flexible about the precise terminology – as determining a ‘fair share contribution’ towards reducing the world’s total CO2 emissions, of which international shipping is currently responsible for about 2.2%.
The international industry associations are united in emphasizing that it is of the utmost importance that MEPC 70 makes significant progress on agreeing to develop a timeline for consideration of next steps, in order that IMO can make a positive report to the next UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP 22) which meets in Marrakesh from 7 November.
The industry’s submission to MEPC 70 is intended to demonstrate that shipping is responding responsibly to global climate change, and that IMO is the only competent authority for addressing shipping’s CO2 emissions.
The 2012 amendments to Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention entered into force in 2013. These require all new ships to be constructed in accordance with an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) which requires new build ships to be progressively more efficient within an agreed timetable, with most ships built from 2025 required to be at least 30% more efficient that those delivered in the 2000s. The amendments to MARPOL also require all existing ships in the world fleet to utilize Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans (SEEMP) in order to deliver meaningful CO2 reductions through technical and operational measures.