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IMO Expert Workshop Considers Updating GHG Inventory for Shipping

IMO5 March 2013: An International Maritime Organization (IMO) Expert Workshop recently considered the scope, methodology and assumptions for an update to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions estimate for international shipping. 

IMO underlines that an updated GHG emissions inventory could provide the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) with reliable information for basing decisions on possible measures to address GHG emissions from international shipping. Among other things, an updated estimate will account for the 2008 economic downturn, and provide a baseline to assess the impact of technical and operational energy efficiency measures that entered into force on 1 January 2013.

Workshop participants, who met from 26 February-1 March 2013, in London, UK, agreed that the primary focus of the Update Study should be updating the carbon dioxide emission estimates. They recommended that the MEPC agree on Terms of Reference so that work can begin in 2013, with a view to submitting a final report to the 66th session of the MEPC in 2014. The Workshop further recommended using fuel sale statistics (from a top-down approach) and ship activity data (from a bottom-up approach) to estimate fuel consumption, as similarly used in the IMO GHG Study 2009.

The Workshop also recommended that adequate resources be provided in order to estimate the same substances as in the 2009 Study. In addition to carbon dioxide, an estimate of relevant emissions from ships engaged in international transport could include: methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). [Publication: Second IMO GHG Study 2009] [IMO Press Release 5 March 2013] [IMO Press Release 25 February 2013]