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IMO adopts climate change strategy for shipping

IMO adopts climate change strategy for shipping
Photo courtesy of United Nations International Maritime Organization.

Nations meeting at the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London last week have adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships, setting out a vision to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and phase them out, as soon as possible in this century.

The vision confirms IMO’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and, as a matter of urgency, to phasing them out as soon as possible.

More specifically, under the identified “levels of ambition,” the initial strategy envisages for the first time a reduction in total GHG emissions from international shipping which, it says, should peak as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while, at the same time, pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely.

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

The initial strategy was adopted by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), during its 72nd session at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom. The meeting was attended by more than 100 IMO member states from April 9-13, 2018.

The initial strategy represents a framework for member states, setting out the future vision for international shipping, the levels of ambition to reduce GHG emissions and guiding principles; and includes candidate short-, mid- and long-term further measures with possible timelines and their impact on the member states. The strategy also identifies barriers and supportive measures including capacity building, technical cooperation and research and development (R&D).

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