IMO greenhouse gas emissions

IMO Working Group to Consider Proposals for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships

Mike Schuler
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November 11, 2019

Photo: By Eric Gevaert / Shutterstock

An International Maritime Organization working group will meet this week to consider proposals to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

In 2018, the IMO agreed to a historic initial strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships. The initial strategy envisions reducing the total annual GHG emissions from ships by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008 levels, which simultaneously pursuing efforts to phase them out entirely.

The initial strategy also contains specific reference to “a pathway of CO2 emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals”.

An IMO Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships has been tasked with developing a plan for follow-up actions for the initial strategy, which is set to be finalized by 2023.

The working group will meet this week for its sixth time to consider a range of short-term measures to begin delivering on the strategy, from speed restrictions for ships to more goal-based approaches submitted by organizations and countries.

The working group will report its findings to the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), which is the ultimate decision-making body on issues regarding the strategy.

While the initial strategy was mostly welcomed as a good starting point for reducing GHG emissions from shipping, some described it as a political compromise that fell short of more ambitious targets.

Read: Reactions to the IMO’s Initial Strategy to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships

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