IMO Environment Committee Adopts Mandatory GHG Reduction Measures

15 July 2011: The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted mandatory measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from international shipping, representing the first ever mandatory global greenhouse gas reduction regime for an international industry sector.

The measures were adopted by parties to Annex VI (Prevention of  Air Pollution from Ships) to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) represented in the MEPC, which met for its 62nd session from 11-15 July 2011, at IMO headquarters in London, UK. The adopted amendments to MARPOL Annex VI add a new chapter on regulations on energy efficiency for ships to make mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships. Other amendments to Annex VI add new definitions and the requirements for survey and certification, including the format for the International Energy Efficiency Certificate. The new regulations apply to all ships of at least 400 gross tonnage and are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013. In some cases, the requirements may be waived by the administration.

The new chapter also includes a provisions on the promotion of technical cooperation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships, especially to developing States. In addition, the MEPC agreed a work plan to continue the work on energy efficiency measures for ships. [IMO Press Release]