IMO adopts climate-change strategy in line with Paris Agreement


The International Maritime Organization said the strategy agreed Friday envisions cutting total annual emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared with 2008.

Addressing the plenary, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim stressed that, though the agreement may not be flawless, it sent a clear signal to the shipping industry.

"They they can feel a lot safer then they were yesterday because of the deal that was done".

This is an important step in the decarbonization of global shipping and is consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the mobilization of concerned industries to meet those goals. "It will require rapid technological changes to produce zero-emission ships, moving from fossil fuels, to a combination of electricity (batteries), renewable fuels derived from hydrogen, and potentially bioenergy", said Tristan Smith, an expert on energy and shipping at the University College London's Energy Institute.

"Negotiations showed that some parties were hoping for even stricter measures, however, we urge everybody to back the decision now made as we strongly believe that emissions regulation in worldwide shipping has to be handled on a global scale to be fair and successful".

"We have an important agreement, and this level of ambition will ultimately require a sector-wide shift to new fuels and propulsion technologies, but what happens next is crucial".

"With this decision, the global shipping community clearly commits itself to the goals of the Paris Agreement".

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"Like Apollo 11 returning to Earth we knew we needed to land and we did". So this decision puts shipping on a promising track. Reducing emissions from worldwide shipping is therefore crucial to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

"The text may not be satisfactory to all but it represents a strong middle ground... in this context I believe this compromise text is a solution that should be able to keep everyone on board...."

Shipping was originally left out of major nation-based climate accords, with some countries such as the U.S. and Saudi Arabia not wanting to cut shipping emissions at all. Moreover, current attempts taken at MEPC to initiate more strict measures on climate change indicate that liquefied natural gas (LNG), diesel, and heavy fuel oil are not sustainable.

A study performed by Tyndall Manchester has assessed the operational and upstream greenhouse gas and local pollutant emissions related to traditional fuels as against a broad range of substitutive fuels up to the year 2050. We know it will not be easy for us, in terms of the impact on trade, but we are ready to go ahead.

MPEC also adopted several measures that will support implementation of the strategy, including: amendments to a regulation on Energy Efficiency Design Index for passenger and cargo ships relating to the third, and a possible fourth phase of implementing EDDI requirements; and an amendment making data collection on fuel oil consumption of ships mandatory in 2019.

Experts say that it sends a strong signal to the shipping industry and fuel suppliers.