Major organizations have welcomed the revised 2023 GHG Strategy which aims to reach net-zero emissions from international shipping by or around 2050, that was agreed during MEPC 80.
he revised IMO GHG Strategy includes an ambition to reach net-zero GHG emissions from international shipping close to 2050, a commitment to ensure an uptake of alternative zero and near-zero GHG fuels by 2030, as well as indicative check-points for 2030 and 2040. Furthermore, the updated GHG strategy sets a timeline for the development of the lifecycle-based global fuel standard and economic instrument, to be agreed by 2025 and ready for implementation in 2027.
Net zero by 2050
The Global Maritime Forum (GMF) congratulated the IMO member states for showing a spirit of compromise and solidarity when agreeing to more far-reaching indicative 2030 and 2040 checkpoints for emissions reductions in the final stretch of the negotiations.
The European Commission also welcomed the major increase in the level of ambition compared to the existing 2018 strategy, which aimed at reducing emissions from ships by just 50% in the same time horizon.
This marks a new beginning for shipping’s energy transition, with clear goals and milestones. There is much to do, and carriers are eager to continue the work together with regulators, fuel providers and technology providers to reach our shared climate targets
… said John Butler, President & CEO of the World Shipping Council
Furthermore, BIMCO sees this as ground-breaking. The newly adopted IMO GHG reduction strategy translates to a reduction of around 90% on average at the individual ship level due to expected fleet growth. And 2040 is only 17 years from now, BIMCO said on a statement.
This will be especially important for kickstarting the uptake of zero-emission fuels in the early phase of the transition. Importantly, the strategy also adopts a well-to-wake approach, assessing fuels on a life-cycle basis.
… said Johannah Christensen, CEO of the Global Maritime Forum
However, as a UK Chamber of Shipping spokesperson said, it is vital though that economic and technical measures are brought in to help deliver both the end goal and interim targets for 2030 and 2040, as without them emissions reduction targets will not be achieved
The profound change in the way ships must be built, operated and fuelled will impact every shipowner on the planet. Investment decisions need to be reassessed, designs need change and business models will be forever impacted.
… agreed BIMCO President Nikolaus Schües, recognizing the monumental change the shipping industry is now facing
Further regulatory support and the purposed levy
IMO, must now work quickly to complete impact assessments and agree on the measures to reduce the emission intensity of fuels and place a price on carbon so they can be brought forward as soon as possible.
… said a UK Chamber of Shipping spokesperson. ICS also supported the idea that a global levy on ship’s GHG emissions must now be adopted rapidly if the ambitious goals agreed are to remain plausible.
Finally, GMF reminded that the industry has repeatedly called for a price on emissions to close the competitiveness gap between fossil fuels and zero-emission solutions.