Europe is trying to clean up the shipping sector’s GHG. In this attempt, Germany, Belgium and France are leading, according to the ranking. The top three, followed by the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and then the UK, Denmark, Luxembourg and Finland, were the most active in pushing for an effective climate plan to be agreed by IMO.


The five worst performers in the ranking are Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Croatia. The EU’s biggest shipping registries, Malta, Greece and Cyprus received almost exclusively negative points, because of their complete lack of ambition in the climate negotiations.

Moreover, the ranking reveals geographical differences between northern EU countries, which have higher ambition, and Southern and Eastern EU states, which are  less ambitious about ship GHG reduction targets. The only exception is Spain, which holds 5th position.

Credit: Transport & Environment

IMO will meet in April 2018 to adopt its Initial GHG Strategy for the sector. The key issues on the table will be the following:

  • Agreement on a long-term emissions reduction target;
  • Commitment to immediate action;
  • Shortlisting of candidate short, mid and long-term reduction measures. Immediate measures under discussion include ship operational speed limits (slow steaming) and tighter efficiency standards for new ships as there is massive over-compliance with the weak Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).

Faig Abbasov, shipping officer with T&E, noted:

April is the last chance saloon for the shipping industry, the major flag states and the IMO to get their act together. Shipping can no longer free-ride on the efforts of other sectors. This is a wakeup call for the EU. Either EU governments, especially those with big shipping industries, get serious about delivering a good outcome at IMO, or they will have to accept solutions outside the IMO.