IMO hails climate change as key focal point

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Global warming has been designated by the IMO Council as the theme for this year’s World Maritime Day, and urgent global action to be taken by the shipping industry against greenhouse gas emissions is the central area of focus for the appointed slogan; ‘Climate change: a challenge for IMO too!’

Addressing the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Fire Protection, IMO Secretary General Efthimios Mitropoulos, said: “I sincerely hope that the theme will galvanize intense action within IMO and the international maritime community throughout the year, so that the contribution we will be able to make to the Conference scheduled to be held in Copenhagen in December to produce a new treaty instrument to succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is the appropriate one, commensurate without degree of care, concern and sensitivity about the environment; both marine and atmospheric.

He added: “In acknowledging that climate change is a challenge for IMO too, we must seek an outcome as successful as the one we achieved last year when agreeing, unanimously, a series of drastic measures to further reduce the emission of air pollutants from ships. This time round, our endeavours should aim at adding IMO’s contribution to the world efforts to address the phenomena of climate change and global warming and thus demonstrate, once again, our undiminished determination to respond to our environmental responsibilities decisively, effectively and expeditiously.”