IMO Circulates Interim Measures to Reduce GHG from International Shipping

© IMO17 July 2009: The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) held its 59th session from 13-17 July 2009, in London, UK, and agreed to circulate interim voluntary measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping. The MEPC also issued a work plan of market-based instruments to offset growing emissions in other sectors and to serve as an incentive for the industry to invest in more fuel-efficient technologies.

The measures include: interim guidelines on the method of calculation, and voluntary verification, of the Energy Efficiency Design Index for new ships; guidance on the development of a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan, for new and existing ships, which incorporates best practices for the fuel efficient operation of ships; and guidelines for voluntary use of the Ship Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator for new and existing ships, which enables operators to measure the fuel efficiency of a ship.

It is estimated that, if unaddressed, GHG emissions from international shipping may increase between 150 and 250% by 2050. The outcome of the MEPC on GHG emissions from ships will be forwarded to the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, which will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009. [IMO press release]