IMO Accelerates Action to Reduce GHG Emissions from Shipping
UN Photo/Kibae Park
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The MEPC approved amendments to strengthen existing mandatory requirements for new ships to be more energy efficient.

The IMO Secretariat will continue its cooperation with the UNFCCC Secretariat, including attending relevant UNFCCC meetings.

The GreenVoyage-2050 project will provide technical assistance and promote green technology uptake to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions throughout the maritime sector.

20 May 2019: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is accelerating action and implementing measures to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships, in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To advance the objectives of the IMO’s initial strategy to reduce emissions from ships, the 74th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), which convened from 13-17 May, in London, UK, took a number of actions. The MEPC, inter alia:

  • approved amendments to strengthen existing mandatory requirements for new ships to be more energy efficient;
  • initiated the Fourth IMO GHG Study, which will inventory current global GHG emissions and relevant substances emitted from ships and include scenarios for future international shipping emissions;
  • adopted a resolution encouraging cooperation with ports to reduce emissions from shipping;
  • approved a procedure for the impact assessment of proposed new measures;
  • agreed to establish a multi-donor trust fund to provide financial support for technical cooperation and capacity-building activities to support implementation of the initial IMO strategy on reducing emissions from ships; and
  • discussed possible short-, mid- and long-term measures to reduce emissions from ships that will be further considered during subsequent sessions.

The MEPC also requested the IMO Secretariat to: continue its cooperation with the UNFCCC Secretariat, including attendance at relevant meetings; and present information on IMO’s ongoing work to the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) during the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June, and to the Santiago Climate Change Conference in December.

In addition, IMO and the Government of Norway launched the GreenVoyage-2050 project to provide technical assistance, support technology transfer and promote green technology uptake to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions throughout the maritime sector. The project will initiate and promote efforts to demonstrate and test technical solutions for reducing emissions, and enhance knowledge and information sharing to support IMO’s GHG reduction strategy. The project will also build capacity in developing countries, including small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs), to help them meet climate and energy efficiency goals for international shipping. It will initially run for a two-year period in eight pilot countries, which will then become “champions,” and support other States to follow a similar path. The project will support SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 14 (life below water), and build on good practices from IMO’s other successful environmental projects. [UNFCCC Press Release] [IMO Press Release on MEPC 74] [IMO Press Release on Green Voyage 2050]


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