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IMO spurns opportunity to improve ship energy efficiency

Abandoning a review of ship efficiency targets until 2018 at the earliest, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today turned down an easy opportunity to act on climate change, environmental groups Transport & Environment (T&E) and Seas at Risk (SAR), members of the Clean Shipping Coalition, have said.

The Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), regulating the energy efficiency of new ships, was agreed by the IMO with great fanfare in 2011 as the first global sectoral agreement addressing climate change. Unfortunately subsequent analyses showed it to be ineffective with many new ships exceeding even 2025 targets by a wide margin.

After discussing this in 2015, the IMO agreed in April of this year to review stringency levels. Proposals to do so were discussed at a meeting of the IMO’s marine environment protection committee (MEPC) this week. A majority of member states wanted to bring the 2025 standard forward to 2022. Despite this, the IMO today decided to postpone any decision until after a review to be commissioned sometime following its next session in mid-2017. The meeting ended without agreement as to when any revisions might take effect.

John Maggs, policy advisor at SAR and president of the Clean Shipping Coalition, said: “It beggars belief that the IMO should abandon plans to increase the stringency of design standards that are being easily met and exceeded years ahead of schedule. Backsliding is an IMO speciality, but this is a particularly egregious and irresponsible example.”

Bill Hemmings, shipping director at T&E, said: “Nearly 20 years after being tasked with tackling climate change impacts from shipping, the IMO has enacted only one measure so far, the EEDI, and for new ships only. Yet it now stands in disarray. Improving ship efficiency is a no brainer and a classic example of a ‘win-win’, but apparently the IMO prefers open-ended reviews to concrete action.”
Source: Seas At Risk

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