MEPC 70 has concluded with a decision on defined tasks and timelines to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships. The agreed roadmap complements the decision to have a mandatory global GHG data collection system in place as of 2019. MEPC furthermore decided to have a global 0.5% sulphur limit in 2020 and a Nitrogen Emission Control Area (NECA) in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. These IMO decisions on global regulation of ship emissions have been applauded by ECSA and the European Commission.
“These important decisions demonstrate the global leadership of IMO on regulation of ship emissions”, said ECSA Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven.
“The mandatory GHG data collection system will make it possible to define what will be the contribution of international shipping to the climate goals set by COP21 in Paris last year. The adoption of an initial strategy to meet the Paris targets is already planned for 2018 and an agreement on targets and measures, including an implementation plan, will come about in 2023 once real time data have been analysed. It is important that IMO Member States agreed that work on emission reductions and further measures will already start now, in parallel to the process of data collection and analysis. This way we do not loose time”, he added.
On the decision to cap sulphur emissions by 2020, Patrick Verhoeven commented:
“It is good news that IMO took a decision on the global deadline as shipowners need certainty. Year 2020 is tomorrow however, so we have to speed up work on implementation. In particular, we have to ensure that there is quality fuel available everywhere in the world and that adequate enforcement measures are in place to ensure a global level playing field”, he concluded.
Furthermore, the European Union and its Member States have been among the main advocates of such system, as outlined in the European Strategy for low-emission mobility adopted by the Commission in July 2016.
Following the international agreement to tackle aviation emissions, reached earlier this month, a IMO’s decision concerning a global and mandatory system to collect fuel consumption data from ships, is another significant addition to the global efforts to tackle climate change and modernise the economy, the EU Commission comments.
Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said,
“Three weeks after the aviation deal in Montreal, the momentum for global action on climate remains strong. Today’s agreement is a milestone for a cleaner shipping sector. Data collection is an important first step, and it is very positive that we also started a discussion on a fair contribution of shipping to the climate efforts. The Commission will continue to work closely with the International Maritime Organisation and all its members for a competitive and sustainable shipping sector.”
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella welcomed the decision on sulphur emissions:
“The IMO took a landmark decision. The global cap agreed is fully in line with the sulphur cap already applicable in EU waters under the Sulphur Directive. The decision will significantly reduce the impact of ship emissions on human health and ensure a global level-playing-field for ship operators. I congratulate the coordinated support from EU Member States that was instrumental for the positive outcome achieved”.