Discussions at the MEPC over how shipping is supposed to reduce its carbon emissions have divided IMO member nations into two groups that have very different views on how far they can go before 2050.
For now, the Clean Arctic Alliance has called on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to take urgent action to curb climate impacts in the Arctic, providing meaningful short-term measures that would drive dramatic reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the black carbon. shipping emissions in this decade.
The call comes as a meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 78) opens this week. The committee will hold a virtual session June 6-10.
At MEPC 78, the IMO will address short-term measures to reduce GHG emissions, and medium-term measures, including strengthening the carbon intensity indicator for ships and will begin considering a review of the IMO’s GHG strategy. IMO.
In addition, a proposal for a new emissions control area covering Mediterranean waters, which if agreed will reduce SOx and black carbon emissions in the region, will be on the table for approval during the meeting.
Sian Prior, Senior Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, which is made up of 20 not-for-profit organizations, said: “The IMO needs to raise its ambition levels on recently agreed short-term carbon intensity reduction measures, which include a 1 .5°C – compatible improvement in the carbon intensity of ships, and revises its climate targets to ensure a 50% reduction in CO2e emissions by 2030 and full decarbonization by 2040.
“Only with concrete steps and immediate action to reduce emissions this decade do we have any hope of staying below 1.5°C of global warming, which is essential if we are to retain Arctic sea ice throughout the summer. in the 2030s.
“To avoid the worst impacts in an already overheating Arctic, the IMO must also make immediate cuts in black carbon emissions from shipping in and near the Arctic, as well as reduce global black carbon emissions from industry.
A switch to distillate fuel use in and near the Arctic would rapidly reduce black carbon emissions by around 44%, virtually overnight, while adding diesel particulate filters would reduce black carbon by more than 90%. %, and that should be feasible before 2030.”
In April, after the publication of the 6th Assessment Report on Climate Mitigation of the Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, criticized governments and industry for their inaction while the IPCC report criticized poor climate governance. of international shipping, saying that “improvements in national and international governance structures would further enable the decarbonization of shipping and aviation,” the alliance recalled.
“As an agency of the United Nations, the IMO must confront the realities facing our planet, aligning its priorities with those of the UN on climate change and using its political power and the vast technological resources of the shipping industry to decarbonize the world. shipping sector”, he concluded. Previous.
IMO MEPC 77 took place in November 2021 and was dubbed the “first litmus test” of COP26 decarbonization commitments. However, IMO member states failed to agree on revising the current IMO target and commitment to reducing shipping emissions to zero by 2050.
They did not show enough support for the proposed resolution for zero shipping emissions by 2050 put forward by the Marshall and Solomon Islands, despite broad support for the target.