The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Germany have teamed up on a project to identify opportunities and solutions to prevent and reduce shipping emissions in Asia.
IMO and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) have reportedly recently signed an agreement to carry out preparatory activities leading to the development of a project proposal to reduce shipping emissions in East and Southeast Asian countries.
The project is supported by the BMU’s International Climate Initiative (IKI). IMO will partner with the Partnership for Environmental Management of the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) to carry out the preparatory project and develop the full project proposal.
Signed on April 1, 2021, the agreement is said to be the first step in an ambitious project on shipping emissions in Asia (known as the Blue Solutions Project) that aims to support East and Southeast Asian countries in identifying opportunities to prevent and reduce shipping emissions.
The large-scale project, once approved, will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from ships within ports, and from inland transport through energy efficiency improvements, optimized processes and innovative technologies.
“Partnerships are essential to address the global problem of environmentally harmful emissions. By identifying opportunities to reduce shipping emissions and demonstrating potential technological solutions in partnership with various stakeholders in the region, this project will help developing countries in Asia move closer to a low-carbon future,” commented Jose Matheickal, Head of IMO’s Partnerships and Projects Department.
“We thank Germany for this timely support and look forward to working with partner countries and other potential public and private sector partners to develop and design a full-size project proposal that we expect to submit to Germany for approval later this year.”
Specifically, the agreement confirms the allocation of €385,697 in funding to develop a full-size project proposal. This will involve information gathering and project design activities to align project objectives with those of regional and national stakeholders.
In addition to conducting a comprehensive technical, financial and economic analysis of the proposed project, the project proposal will also identify capacity building and knowledge management aspects, as well as the assessment of GHG emissions baselines. Opportunities for pilot demonstration projects will also be identified to champion the potential of low-carbon shipping, ports and inland transport.
In the preparatory phase, IMO will work with selected partner countries, including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, to develop the full-scale project proposal.
Efforts may also be made to identify capacity building needs in other Asian countries. Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore are expected to be invited to serve as knowledge partner countries, and their level of participation in the project will be identified and confirmed during the assessment phase, according to IMO.
The Asia Shipping Emissions Project, which is expected to receive funding of about €15 million, is one of several initiatives led by IMO to support developing countries in the implementation of IMO’s initial greenhouse gas strategy.