Argentina, Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia row back on shipping’s climate targets

A group of four big countries have set out to limit climate targets due to be discussed at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) gathering next month.

Climate Home News is reporting the group, which consists of Argentina, Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia, have sought to delete key parts of a draft global agreement on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which is due to be legislated at next month’s important 72nd MEPC meet-up in London.

The group has deleted sections (see image below) proposing to cap greenhouse gas emissions from shipping at 2008 levels and reduce them “significantly” by 2050. The four countries have also demanded that the wording on the bid to make shipping a zero carbon sector by 2075 be changed so the firm date of 2075 is replaced with “no later than in the second half of this century”.

April’s MEPC gathering is viewed by many as one of the most important shipping environmental meetings in history.

Last month the Council of the European Union stressed that the IMO must be firm to keep shipping up with commitments made in line with the Paris Agreement.

“The Council of the EU emphasises the need for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to take swift and appropriate additional actions in order for international shipping to contribute its fair share to the fight against climate change and to agree in April 2018 on an initial greenhouse gas IMO emission reduction strategy,” the council stated, adding: “This should be underpinned by an adequate emission reduction objective, consistent with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement, including a list of candidate short, mid and long-term measures equally applicable to all ships, as agreed in the roadmap for developing a comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships.”


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. This little news item (thanks, Sam) deserves a wide readership.

    The proponents seem to amount to half a BRIC, and they are not a bunch who normally hang out together. There may be more to come with this story

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