IMO and Korea partner for greener shipping

​IMO and the Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) Thursday signed a Co-operation Agreement at the Organization’s London Headquarters, for implementation of a pioneering technical co-operation project on Building Capacities in East Asian countries to address Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from Ships.

The co-operation between KOICA and IMO through this project is part of a much broader climate change initiative by the Republic of Korea titled the “East Asia Climate Partnerships” which aims to support the Republic of Korea’s efforts to take a lead in reducing carbon emissions and to move toward a low-carbon society, thereby setting a milestone for green growth and in this process to assist the developing countries in the region.

A sum of some US$700,000 will be made available by KOICA under the Agreement, which will fund ten activities to be implemented by IMO over a two-year period.  The selected activities will focus on enhancing the capacities of developing countries in East Asia to develop and implement, at the national level, appropriate action on CO2 emissions from shipping, whilst at the same time, promoting sustainable development.

IMO, through its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), has developed energy efficiency measures, both for existing and new ships, in a comprehensive package of technical and operational measures to enable the shipping industry to increase its fuel efficiency and reduce its emissions.

At its 62nd session in July 2011, the MEPC will give consideration to making mandatory, under MARPOL Annex VI, the package of technical and operational measures, which include an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships; a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships; and an Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) for all ships.

The issue of reducing GHG emissions from ships represents a major concern for IMO Member States and reflects a global consensus on a key issue which affects both developing and developed countries.  Giving priority to technical assistance programmes that focus on human resources development and institutional capacity building to help developing countries improve their ability to comply with impending international rules and standards to address GHG emissions from ships, can make a significant contribution to limiting or reducing GHG emissions from international shipping.

In this context, IMO’s MEPC, at its 61st session, underlined the importance of building human resource capacity to address GHG emissions from ships. The KOICA-IMO Project on GHG, which is first of its kind for IMO, is an immediate response to such an urgent need identified by the Committee.

Some ongoing IMO technical cooperation activities in GHG emissions include the development of an IMO Model Course based on the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan in promoting the energy-efficient operation of ships which will help promulgate the industry’s “best practices”, to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping.

In 2008, IMO, jointly with the World Maritime University (WMU), organized an international conference on the impact of climate change on the maritime industry that brought together a number of relevant stakeholders to discuss the latest developments and identify challenges in developing countries.

IMO is currently in discussion with a number of donor countries and partner organizations with a view to mobilize additional resources for supporting its technical assistance activities in this area.