Sulphur cap implementation under the spotlight at IMO today

Monday saw the first day of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) gathering at the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) focus on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, leaving Tuesday as the likely day for contentious discussions on the implementation of the global sulphur cap.

MEPC delegates discussed follow up actions to move ahead from April’s decision to cut CO2 emissions in half by 2050 with the head of IMO calling for more rigorous steps to be taken to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim said the program of follow up actions “sets a clear signal on how to further progress the matter of reduction of GHG emissions from ships up to 2023. The planning exercise to implement the initial strategy up to 2023 is now behind us. It is time to take a step further.”

Today, however, is when the real key debate of the week is likely to take place. Three big flags plus three of the largest shipowner associations have submitted a paper, backed by the US, to create an experience-building phase to the January 1, 2020 global sulphur cap. The paper will be debated today.

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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