MEPC ends in stalemate

All bets are off until October at the earliest before shipping regulators make any decision on how best to improve the industry’s environmental footprint. That’s the upshot from this week’s keenly anticipated 69th meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee MEPC) at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). With no sign of an agreement, member states agreed to reconvene in October, something that irked many NGOs watching proceedings at IMO headquarters in London this week.

Transport & Environment (T&E) said “the IMO could only manage to kick the can down the road to its next meeting in October”

“The IMO has fallen flat on its face in the first test of its determination to tackle greenhouse gas emissions after Paris, unable even to agree to develop a work plan for reducing ship emissions,” said John Maggs, senior policy advisor at environmental NGO Seas At Risk.

“Despite a large majority of member states and industry supporting action, the IMO proved unable to translate this into progress, instead allowing itself to be held hostage by a handful of BRICS and the maverick and increasingly isolated Cook Islands.”

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 really does put the IMO – a mediocre body at best, staffed for the most part by medicrities – in a very poor light.

    It would be nice to think that someone in that body might pay some attention.

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