Criticism to the IMO deal on curbing Carbon Emissions from Shipping

IMO curb carbon emissions in Shipping

According to a study about Carbon Emissions Levy presented at the 2019 Global Maritime Forum (GMF) in Singapore on whether and how a carbon pricing scheme could support greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, including IMO’s 2050 GHG ambitions:

” …To reduce carbon – new fuels, technologies, and operational approaches. Most of these require significant investment; some can provide financial returns over time; but in the absence of a carbon pricing mechanism that provides disincentives for the consumption of carbon-intensive fuels, and incentives for research and development, it is unlikely that we can achieve meaningful decarbonization.”

International shipping accounts for about 2.5% of global emissions, or about 1bn tonnes of CO2The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN body that regulates international shipping, agreed on Friday 23/10 after a week-long online meeting to make an existing target legally binding: to reduce the carbon intensity of shipping by 40% compared with 2008 levels in the next 10 years reported the Guardian.

Debates are raging at the International Maritime Organization about how to improves shipping’s carbon footprint as the intercessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships reaches its final day with a threat that up to 30 nations (UK, Ireland, New Zeland and more) are ready to walk out, irritated at what they perceive as the lack of ambition in the J/5 text doing the rounds.

Critics under the radar

CO2 emissions are set to double as international trade flows increase, making shipping a key source of carbon emissions. Drafted legislation to be legally binding included in the text from this meeting, is to be reviewed next month’s Marine Environment Protection Committee virtual gathering was criticized for containing “no carbon intensity target and reduces the stringency of the required Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) for many ship types.” Therefore, NGOs state that in the best-case scenario, it would curb 0.8% – 1.6% of GHG from a business-as-usual growth pathway by 2030, where the pathway is +15% above the industry’s 2008 baseline.

Furthermore, non-compliant ships would be able to stay operational for three (3) consecutive years before they are obliged to fine improvement plans and can underperform indefinitely by ensuring one complaint year every three (3) years.

Splash247 reports that all clauses that would create consequences for non-compliance such as increase EEXI stringency ultimately revoking a ship’s statement of compliance – have been removed.


Jointly, The NGOs: WWF, Transport & Environment, Pacific Environment and Seas at Risk – the J/5 text is accused of violating the initial IMO GHG Strategy in three ways.

“It will fail to reduce emissions before 2023, will not peak emissions as soon as possible, and will not set ship CO2 emissions on a pathway consistent with the Paris Agreement goals,” the statement from the NGOs claims, adding: “The IPCC special report on 1.5 degrees made it clear that the next ten years are crucial if dangerous runaway global heating is to be avoided. The IMO’s response must not be to support an industry-sponsored measure that would throw those ten years away, allow emissions to rise for a decade or more, and seriously undermine all others efforts at keeping global heating below 1.5 degrees.”

Finally they add that “the UN maritime agency again showed the world it can only deliver cosmetic changes. EU countries should work through the European green deal to fill the gap left by the IMO.”


Source Carbon Levy Evaluation The Guardian Splash247
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