IMO Environment Committee Focuses on GHG

26 March 2010: The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) held its 60th session from 22-26 March 2010, in London, UK, and focused on the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from international shipping.

Despite progress made on this issue at the meeting, the MEPC concluded that more work needs to be done before it completes its consideration of the proposed mandatory application of technical and operational measures designed to regulate and reduce GHGs emissions from international shipping. The Committee decided to establish the following groups: an intersessional Working Group to build on the significant progress that had been made during the meeting on technical and operational measures to increase the energy efficiency of ships; and an Expert Group on market-based measures to undertake a feasibility study and impact assessment of the various proposals submitted for a market-based instrument for international maritime transport.

Both Groups are to report to the MEPC at its 61st session. Furthermore, participants agreed on draft text on mandatory requirements for the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new vessels and on the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships in operation, but underlined that issues concerning ship size, target dates and reduction rate in relation to the EEDI requirements all required finalization.

In his closing remarks to the meeting, IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos stated that “Global issues demand global solutions. Let the world learn from the lessons of Copenhagen so that the same mistakes are not repeated in Cancun. At the same time, let us build on the undeniable successes Copenhagen has scored, by providing a forum for Heads of State and Government to listen to and understand each other's problems, concerns, worries and sensitivities and, thus, pave the way for a more successful next round of consultations.” [IMO Press Release]