EU ship owners want IMO leadership in efforts to reduce GHG emissions from shipping


Patrick Verhoeven's pictureAs world leaders from 147 countries gather in Paris for the long-awaited UNFCCC COP 21, European ship owners reiterated their support for the EU Member States’ negotiating position adopted in September.
“We fully support the idea that shipping has to contribute to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” commented Patrick Verhoeven (pictured), ECSA Secretary General, adding: “EU Member States gave a vote of confidence to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in its ability to address as soon as possible and in an effective manner greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. We believe this is the right approach as it would be the logical continuation of steps already taken at EU level. After all, the IMO is the shipping industry’s global regulator.”
The EU made headway towards contributing to the IMO process following the adoption of the EU MRV Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2015/757) on the monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport. The Regulation is intended to be the first step of a strategy geared towards a global solution, by helping ascertain the real contribution of shipping to global CO2 emissions, starting in 2018.
The IMO has for its part a noteworthy track record in developing technical CO2 energy efficiency measures for the maritime sector. Two such measures, the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), both adopted in 2011, made shipping the first industrial sector to have a binding global regime in place to reduce its CO2 emissions. Entered into force in 2013, these measures require a gradual improvement of energy efficiency for newly built ships through intermediary targets, culminating in the requirement that all ships constructed after 2025 be 30% more efficient that those built in the 2000s.
These measures also require ship owners to develop best practices and energy efficient operations. The shipping industry has strongly supported these standards, as they can provide meaningful and lasting improvements in energy efficiency and reduce the amount of fuel required for operation.
The IMO is also making good progress towards the development of global CO2 reporting system for individual ships, mirroring the EU MRV system. The issue of CO2 emissions reduction actually remains firmly on the IMO agenda and will be considered again at the next meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee in April 2016. The shipping industry supports the establishment, as soon as possible, of a mandatory system of data collection from individual ships, understanding that the possibility of further market based measures might be revisited after an IMO analysis of the data submitted by ships.
“With the EU MRV Regulation and the efforts at IMO level, a clear course has been plotted for the shipping industry, ultimately leading to the reduction of its Green House Gas emissions” said Benoit Loicq, Director of Maritime Safety and Environment at ECSA.
“When combined with the industry technical and operational measures, as well as new technology, ship owners are very confident that the world fleet will be considerably more efficient by 2050” he added, referring to a recent commitment made by the International Chamber of Shipping, representing the global shipping industry, to a 50%reduction in CO2 by 2050.
“We therefore hope that discussions in Paris will take full account of the progress made so far and will build on the work done at industry, regional and global level” concluded Mr Loicq.