The 2023 IMO GHG strategy sends an unequivocal signal to investors that ships being ordered today, and many already built, have to be capable of running on zero emission fuels, UMAS notes following MEPC80 decisions.
With a combination of further IMO action, national, regional and industry action, a 1.5-aligned GHG reduction pathway is more clearly in reach than before.
July 7th, 2023 marks a historic day for the international shipping sector as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopts its 2023 IMO GHG Strategy, a much stronger revision of their 2018 Initial Strategy to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping
According to the 2023 IMO, shipping industry needs to strive for 30% GHG reductions by 2030, 80% GHG reductions by 2040, on 2008 levels, and an overall level of ambition of reaching net-zero emissions as close to 2050 as possible.
Dr Tristan Smith, Reader at UCL Energy Institute, Director of UMAS said: “This outcome owes so much to the leadership of a small number of climate vulnerable countries – to their determination and perseverance in convincing much larger economies to act more ambitiously and overcome their concerns, for all of our benefit.”
That this still does not do enough to ensure the survival of the vulnerable countries, in spite of what they have given to help secure the sustainability of global trade, is why more is needed, and all the more reason to give them the credit for what they have done and to heed their calls for a GHG levy.
Dr Alison Shaw, Policy Lead at UMAS said: “It was far from smooth sailing at the IMO this week, however Member States have now come together to send a strong signal to the shipping sector. While the 2023 IMO GHG strategy falls short of being clearly aligned to a 1.5 degree pathway, it does set expectations for reductions by 2030 and 2040, for the adoption of global measures, and envisions a just and equitable transition.
The strength of the strategy now relies on both the sector’s response and the forthcoming development of global measures by Member States, both of which should be geared to striving for 30% GHG emissions reduction by 2030″
Thus, the 2023 strategy represents a multilateral compromise which unifies Member States around a much stronger set of reduction signals that need to be operationalised by both the sector and the policy makers themselves. The following questions, that are being answered by UMAS in the document below, help to address key points of the new IMO strategy:
- Does this new strategy align with limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C?
- Will these numbers (the levels of ambition and checkpoints) change again?
- Are offsets on or off the table?
- Does the strategy stimulate a transition to new fuels?
- Are the reductions tank-to-wake or well-to-wake, on CO2 or GHG?
- What will be needed to meet the 2030 target mean in practice?
- What will be needed to meet the 2040 target in practice?
- What about CII and EEXI, what will happen to these?
- Has a levy disappeared? What policies can we expect to drive the transition?
- When can we expect measures that will implement these targets?
- What are the implications for shipping-related investments?
- Will IMO policy stimulate use of revenues across countries “evenly”?
- What are the implications for trade, and how might remote developing countries be affected?
- What do the dynamics of this meeting imply about the nature of IMO’s further work on GHG?
- What does this mean about shipping’s inclusion in EU ETS?