Shipping industry welcomes legally binding agreement to significantly improve carbon efficiency

The agreement includes legally binding measures to ensure a 40% reduction of carbon intensity across the global fleet by 2030, compared to 2008.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) welcomes the comprehensive package of additional CO2 reduction measures for the existing global fleet, agreed recently by an overwhelming number of governments from across the world after a week-long virtual meeting at the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

The agreement includes legally binding measures to ensure a 40% reduction of carbon intensity across the global fleet by 2030, compared to 2008, and is a key stepping stone in achieving 100% decarbonization as soon as possible after 2050.

ICS is confident this new package of technical and operational regulations will be formally agreed by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in November 2020, for entry into force in 2023.

Importantly, the IMO agreement includes a mandatory A-E rating system that will greatly incentivize shipowners to improve their carbon efficiency – ships’ charterers being far more likely to offer business and pay a premium for highly rated ships, while ships with a D or E rating will face serious negative consequences unless they improve their performance.

The new IMO agreement provides a global regulatory framework for a suite of technical and operational CO2 reduction measures supported by a system of global enforcement via amendments to Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention: 

  • The Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), a goal-based technical measure similar to the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) which has been mandatory for new ships since 2013.
  • The ‘Super SEEMP’ concept, originally proposed by ICS in 2019, whereby use of the already mandatory Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan will be subject to rigorous external audit and statutory certification. Similar to the philosophy of the International Code for the Safe Management of Ships and Pollution Prevention (ISM Code) – which has been mandatory throughout the industry for the past 20 years – ships will be required to demonstrate that everything possible has been done, as set out in the SEEMP, to improve operational fuel efficiency.
  • Agreement to develop Carbon Intensity Indicators (CIIs) for the different types and sizes of ship, as a complement to the EEXI and the ‘Super SEEMP’, using an A-E rating system of operational efficiency that will be applied to existing ships from 2023.

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