Significant progress on climate issues

The International Maritime Organisation has made very good progress towards implementing the ambitious GHG reduction strategy.

At the conclusion of the meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), ICS welcomed the significant progress made on some key climate issues.

Action plan for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction

ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson said IMO has made very good progress towards implementing the ambitious GHG reduction strategy agreed in April.
Also, it has adopted an Action Plan for the development of short term measures that will deliver additional CO2 reductions before 2023.
There are longer term measures that will eventually achieve full decarbonisation of international shipping.
ICS is particularly pleased that IMO Member State did not reopen the historic agreement or the CO2 reduction targets previously agreed.
Importantly,  governments, in partnership with industry, are totally committed to making the GHG strategy a success.
Member States did not make concrete decisions on specific new COreduction measures.  However, there is broad support for the industry’s proposals for mandatory auditing of Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans.
There is also support for further improvements to the Energy Efficiency Design Index for future ships.
ICS said the industry can adopt both measures very quickly.
ICS says there is growing understanding amongst Member States about the serious problems associated with ideas such as publishing mandatory operational efficiency indicators or adopting mandatory speed limits (as opposed to speed optimisation measures).  There is potential for seriously distorting shipping markets and disrupting the efficiency of global trade.
However, discussions on these ideas will continue at IMO next year.
Poulsson added the way is now clear to make detailed proposals for specific COreduction measures at the next MEPC in May 2019.
In co-operation with other industry associations, ICS intends to come forward with detailed climate ideas.  These include measures for long term CO2reduction and the development of zero CO2 fuels.

2020 global sulphur cap

ICS welcomes the adoption by IMO of guidelines on implementation of the global 0.5% sulphur in fuel cap,.  This takes effects on 1 January 2020, including a template for implementation planning as requested by the industry.
ICS also welcomes confirmation of the carriage ban of non-compliant fuel which will take effect on 1 March 2020.  This was to give governments an additional tool to ensure a level playing field.
ICS says there are still complex issues that need addressing by IMO at the MEPC next May and by the Maritime Safety Committee in December.
The industry has already submitted a detailed paper calling on governments to better enforce fuel quality.
Shipping companies will have to start ordering compliant fuels, including new blends, from the middle of next year.
Poulsson said ICS is confident the sulphur cap will ultimately be a great success.  It will bring real health and climate benefits to coastal populations.  This after all, is what the major regulatory change is all about.

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