Short-term GHG measures jostle for position at IMO

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) week-long informal, virtual discussions with stakeholders over short-term measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions from shipping have covered a huge amount of ground, without a frontrunner solution taking the lead.

The talks, held in the absence of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) gathering, postponed because of coronavirus, have centred around three broad schemes: Japan’s energy efficiency index (EEXI) rating; a carbon intensity index touted by a number of Scandinavian nations; and an incentive scheme proposed by Brazil and China.

The other key topic under discussion was to make a more strict ship energy efficiency management plan (SEEMP), something that has been put on the table by the International Chamber of Shipping.

All the measures will be taken forward to MEPC, which coronavirus-permitting, is now scheduled for the autumn with a likely blend of the measures to come into effect by 2023.

The IMO has had to contend this week with European members of parliament deciding to enforce their own more strict carbon plans for ships trading in the continent, risking a splintering of global green regulations.

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.
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