After months of negotiations and callings from stakeholders across the global industry, the IMO eventually adopted at MEPC 72, held in mid April, a historic initial strategy to reduce the total annual GHG emissions from ships by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels.
However, this step creates greater concerns for the day after, in terms of how the sector will be able to respond to this ambitious goal. ECSA Secretary General, Martin Dorsman, explained:
The very ambitious reduction goal, on the pathway to full decarbonisation, will require breakthrough R&D for technologies, equipment and fuels not yet existing. Funding by international institutions such as the EU will be necessary and creates growth and jobs in Europe. It will safeguard the leading position the European maritime cluster now has in developing and producing high tech vessels and equipment for the European and international shipping industry.
On the same context, Transport & Environment pointed out that states at the IMO MEPC 72 made no progress on agreeing a roadmap to devise the measures needed to implement immediate emissions cuts, noting "it is now up to Europe and its climate allies to get things moving".
ECSA also expressed some points of concern, especially the reduction of the budget available for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport is "regrettable".