Industry Issues Joint Call to IMO to Act on Shipping Emissions

Photo: IMO
Photo: IMO

A group of 52 leading maritime players have called on the International Maritime Organization to act on cutting emissions from the shipping industry ahead of the Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting taking place next week in London.

In an open letter, the group called on global Heads of State of IMO member countries to create clear long-term objectives, an even playing field and ambitious actions to drive low-carbon solutions.

“We, the undersigned, call on the Heads of State of IMO member countries to recognize the capability and aspiration of the broader community involved in shipping to join global efforts to combat climate change,” the letter states. “This requires swift and decisive action by IMO member states to begin working to define the industry’s contribution and to develop policies that drive investment in cost-effective GHG emission reduction efforts within the industry. With a robust framework for managing national emissions now agreed in Paris and momentum for addressing international aviation emissions under ICAO, it is time to recognize the important role the global shipping industry must play in holding global temperatures ‘well below two degrees Celsius.'”

The group believes the Paris climate agreement and the efforts currently for addressing international aviation emissions under ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), provide good momentum for the maritime industry’s own actions.

“The recent agreement on the Global Data Collection System and past agreement on energy effciency design standards demonstrate that the diverse interests at IMO can find common ground on complex and contentious issues. However, even with existing standards and current market forces, shipping’s emissions are expected to substantially increase over the coming years. To curb this trajectory, IMO member countries must demonstrate that they can match the ambition and pace of UNFCCC,” the letter states.

Those who signed the letter say the support the discussions at MEPC to establish the shipping industry’s fair share of the global responsibility to address climate change.

Finnish marine engine manufacturer, Wärtsilä, who signed the letter, said the call-to-action to the IMO illustrates their stance on climate change.

“Wärtsilä is committed to efforts in reducing ship industry’s emissions,” said Roger Holm, President Marine Solutions at Wärtsilä, in a separate statement. “We continuously strive at increasing the energy-efficiency and environmental performance of vessels, and offer a wide range of solutions with that effect. By signing this letter we want to emphasis our commitment and encourage all maritime players to join forces to fight climate change.”