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The International Maritime Organization’s initial greenhouse gas strategy

At the 72nd meeting of its Marine Environment Protection Committee, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a resolution codifying an initial greenhouse gas (GHG) strategy for international shipping. This strategy, which represents the first global climate framework for shipping, includes quantitative GHG reduction targets through 2050 and a list of candidate short-, mid-, and long-term policy measures to help achieve these targets.

The strategy implies that international shipping would consume between 3.8% and 5.8% of the world’s remaining carbon budget under the Paris Agreement, up from 2.3% in 2015. Meeting the strategy’s 2050 target will require near-term policies to significantly improve the fuel efficiency of the global fleet and to promote the development and deployment of low- and zero-carbon fuels and propulsion technologies.

Now that the initial strategy has been finalized, IMO will consider which, if any, of the short-term measures should be made mandatory. An additional intersessional working group (ISWG-GHG 4) is planned for later this year, focused on developing an implementation plan for short-term measures.

Separately, MEPC will deliberate whether to tighten the existing EEDI standards for new-build ships at its next two meetings. The phase 3 targets (30% efficiency improvement by 2025) are currently under review, and could be implemented soon, subject to a decision expected at MEPC 73 (October 2018). A separate decision on whether to institute new EEDI phases will be considered at MEPC 74 in 2019.
Source: International Council on Clean Transportation

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